(12) Baylor vs. (15) Oklahoma Preview

Look for Bears quarterback Bryce Petty to air it out on Saturday against the Sooners. Photo Courtesy: Matthew Lynch
Look for Bears quarterback Bryce Petty to air it out on Saturday against the Sooners. Photo Courtesy: Matthew Lynch

By Kendrick E. Johnson

Game Info
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday – November 8 – 11:00 am
TV: FOX Sports 1
Memorial Stadium – Norman

The defending Big 12 champion Baylor Bears (7-1, 4-1) rebounded from their lone loss at West Virginia with a victory in which they allowed only 16 yards on the ground. Now they play at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium home of the eight-time conference champion Oklahoma Sooners (6-2, 3-2). It’s a place where Baylor has never won. Oklahoma has a 21-2 series lead, but the Bears’ two victories have come in the last three years at home, including a 41-12 win last year.

The Sooners come into Saturday’s showdown with two defeats in their past four games with the two losses being by a combined five points. They’re down, but not yet out of the conference title race.

“A win would be big from the standpoint that we’re trying to establish ourselves just like everybody else in this league as a team that can sustain,” Art Briles said.

Baylor has the top scoring offense in the entire nation, the fifth-best passing offense and the 22nd-best rushing offense in the country this season. Quarterback Bryce Petty leads the potent offense that averages over 50 points per game, passing for 2,034 yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions and completing just under 55 percent of his passes.

In the postgame interview after Petty threw three touchdowns and Baylor scored on 11 consecutive possessions in a 60-14 victory over Kansas last Saturday, the usually talkative quarterback couldn’t manage much more than this: “Just ready for O-U.”

Petty will show whether he truly is when Baylor visits the No. 16 Sooners on Saturday in a key Big 12 matchup. The Bears do not have a true road game left after this one, and control their own destiny in winning the Big 12.

“He’s in a mode where it’s kind of a no-nonsense mentality,” Briles said of his quarterback, who was 15 of 27 for 277 yards against the Jayhawks. “So I certainly appreciate that part of it.

The Sooners defense has been pedestrian, at best, this season. If they want to slow down Petty and the top scoring offense in the nation, they need to play better than their 59th-ranked total defense and 31st-ranked scoring defense.

As for Petty, he was more like himself Monday during his weekly media availability that follows Briles. Asked about his postgame comments two days earlier, Petty said he was – and still is – just really excited about this weekend.
“I never wanted to come off as Kansas wasn’t important, they’re a really good team, so anytime you get a Big 12 win, that’s huge for us,” Petty said “I’m really excited about this week. It’s a big opportunity.”