Baylor silenced many of their critics Thursday night, easily handling a stout Oklahoma defense and emerging as a true national title competitor with a 41-12 win in Waco.
The game began in decidedly un-Baylor fashion, as the usually high-flying Bears struggled to move against the Sooner defense, leaving Oklahoma with a 5-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
Baylor's offense turned on at that point, as Bryce Petty put together three of his five total touchdowns in the last seven minutes of the first half. First, he ran one in from five yards out to give the Bears a 10-5 lead (one they would never relinquish), and scored another on a one-yard touchdown run. Finally, his 24-yard bullet to Antwan Goodley with 13 seconds left in the half gave Baylor a comfortable 24-5 cushion at the break.
Petty opened things up with a score in the third quarter, finding Levi Norwood for a 17-yard score. Oklahoma responded with Blake Bell's 10-yard touchdown pass to Roy Finch, but Petty found Goodley once again for a 25-yard touchdown, and the Bears won 41-12.
Prashanth Francis of Our Daily Bears said that while the offense continues to excel, it was the Baylor defense whose plan finally came into full effect.
In 2011, Art Briles convinced Phil Bennett to attempt to do to Baylor's defense what he had done for Baylor's offense. The task that lay ahead of him was immense. Despite having an excellent track record as a defensive coordinator, he was often so frustrated by the lack of performance that he resorted to incredibly conservative, and ultimately ineffective, defensive schemes. Fast forward to the second half of last year, though, and you'll see a master plan that finally began to come together. A fast, deep, aggressive defense made up of great athletes that sacrificed size for speed and brought swagger (read: moxie, for you older for folks) to a formerly hopeless unit.
M. Hofeld from Crimson & Cream Machine says the problem lies primarily with the offensive playcalling, and that changes could come for the Sooners.
Josh Heupel has been great for the university as a player and as a quarterbacks coach but this game, above all else, proves that he's not the answer as an offensive coordinator. Nothing proved that more than the play calling Thursday night against Baylor. After struggling to move the ball for nearly three quarters the Sooners finally found success by running motion plays and some misdirection. The confusion is that it took almost 45 minutes for Heupel to use these type of plays and the frustration is that, after scoring the only touchdown of the night, he never went back to those plays. Why?