Baylor survived a scare against Texas Tech last week, but the home stretch of the Bears' schedule is still on the horizon. It all starts with a trip to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State. If Baylor manages to survive on Saturday, TCU and Texas will be the only two teams in the way of the Bears' perfect season.
Oklahoma State is on a six-game winning streak but still has to play Baylor and Oklahoma, two of the top teams in the Big 12. If not for a major upset at the hands of West Virginia, Oklahoma State would still have dreams of a perfect season as well.
Outside of the implications this game may have on the Big 12 Championship, there are also plenty of future NFL players who could help their standing in the eyes of NFL scouts on Saturday.
Baylor at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
When Baylor has the football
Baylor is arguably the most exciting offensive team in college football. Redshirt junior quarterback Bryce Petty has the arm strength and scrambling ability to make a lot of big plays. He's emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in college football, and his physical talent makes him an intriguing NFL Draft prospect. Petty will hope running back Lache Seastrunk will join him in Baylor's backfield on Saturday night. Seastrunk, out top-ranked running back prospect for 2014, has a ton of straight-line speed, but his ability to cut on a dime and change direction in a hurry makes him tough to get an angle on in the open field. He also doesn't go down too easily.
Oklahoma State defensive tackle Calvin Barnett is one of the top seniors at his position in the country. NFL Draft fans will be in for a treat if he and Cyril Richardson are lined up across from one another at any point, though Richardson may have to slide over to tackle due to injuries on Baylor's offensive line. Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert has a tall task against Baylor's speedy wide receivers. Tevin Reese, who has been Baylor's top wide receiver, is injured for the game on Saturday, which takes some pressure off Gilbert.
When Oklahoma has the football
Baylor is known for having a juggernaut offense, but the defense is also tough to score on. Oklahoma State's offense isn't quite as efficient as it has been in recent years. Wide receiver Tracy Moore is probably the team's top NFL Draft prospect at this point, and he may find navigating Baylor's secondary to be a challenge. Safety Ahmad Dixon has looked the part of a potential day two pick in the Bears' secondary. He's improved each week and will be a key part of their defensive game plan.
The player to watch out for is Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman. Oakman, a 6-foot-9-inch, 275 pound defensive end, has an amazing blend of quick-twitch movement skills and length. He's going up against a mediocre Oklahoma State offensive line on Saturday, so he should have a chance to do some damage.
Question of the night
Baylor's offense is going to be able to score points. That's a given. Rather than shutdown the Baylor's offense, will Oklahoma State be able to score enough to keep pace? The Bears' defense is starting to come together as a unit, and the Cowboys haven't exactly been setting the world on fire offensively. It doesn't matter how well Oklahoma State's defense handles the Baylor offense if the Cowboy offense can't handle the Baylor defense.