#7 Baylor at #6 Oklahoma
Time: 10:30 AM CST
Spread: OK -9
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Baylor Bears finished its season 11-1 and tied Oklahoma for the best mark in the Big 12. The two teams will square off for the Conference title at 11 AM (CST) on ABC and ABC Affiliates. Oklahoma is 9-point favorites in the game, which has its over/under set at a high 65 points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Baylor suffered its lone loss to a then-No. 10 Oklahoma team, and it will have its chance to steal the Conference title from the only team that defeated it. Perhaps going 1-1 against a team should not really qualify for being the actual Conference champ, but that is where we are here. Oklahoma certainly had its fair share of dominance against the rest of the Big 12.
Baylor finished with a No. 41 ranked pass offense and a No. 41 rank in rushing offense. It generated 258.9 via the pass and 186.2 via the rush. The Bears averaged 36.2 points per game while holding opponents to just 18.4 per, good for a differential of +17.8 points.
The Bears were led by the outstanding play of quarterback Charlie Brewer. He threw for nearly 3,000 yards at a 65.5 percent completion average. Brewer threw 20 TDs and just six interceptions, but he was sacked 27 times (2.6 per game) for a total loss of 167 yards. Even so, Brewer was a good rush threat too, with 132 carries for 340 yards and a team-leading 10 rushing touchdowns.
The Bears’ top-two backfield threats were John Lovett and JaMychal Hasty, who each rushed 97 and 98 times for 618 and 602 yards, respectively. Hasty ranked No. 2 in TDs with seven while Lovett rushed for five. The Bears totaled 34 rushing touchdowns with a five yard-per-carry average, and 10 different players rushed for a touchdown this season for Baylor.
The Bears’ top receiving threat was Denzel Mims. He led the team in catches (61), yardage (945) and touchdowns (11). Tyquan Thornton was the No. 2 WR with 682 yards on 39 catches and a second-best four touchdowns. Baylor scored 21 receiving touchdowns and averaged 12.9 yards-per-catch as a team.
Oklahoma finished with just one conference loss, a 41-48 loss to Kansas State. That upset cost it a perfect season and a shot at the BCS playoffs, and it also firmly launched it into a tie and Conference title game with Saturday’s opponent, Baylor.
Like Baylor, Oklahoma was dominant via the rush, ranking No. 9 at 260 yards per game. Its pass attack was better than the Bears’ though, ranking No. 16 and generating over 300 yards per game. The Sooners averaged 44.3 points per game this season, but its defense is not quite as stringent as Baylor’s, in giving up 24.7 per contest.
Oklahoma starting quarterback Jaylen Hurts should be a top contender for the Heisman, which is uncharted territory for graduate transfers for the most part. Hurts threw for 3,347 yards with an amazing 71.9 percent completion ratio while completing 31 TD passes and throwing just six interceptions. Hurts also led the team in rushing attempts (196), yardage (1,217) and rushing touchdowns (18). He put together an amazing season. Kennedy Brooks led the backfield in rushes with 128 for 917 yards and four touchdowns. No. 2 running back Rhamondre Stevenson led the team in yards-per-carry at 8.3 and rushed for another five touchdowns.
The Sooners scored 32 rushing touchdowns this season.
Via the pass, the top receiver was CeeDee Lamb, who caught for over 1,000 yards and scored 14 of the team’s 35 passing touchdowns. Oklahoma ran a lot of short routes, with no receivers averaging double-figure yardage-per-catch, and the average per catch was just 6.2 yards. But Hurts is a quarterback whose offense was carved around him, and his bread-and-butter was a lot of short routes and option plays which gave him the chance to rack up the yardage.
Overall, it was a masterful offensive season from the Sooners, who rightfully could contend with the top-4 teams in the nation if not for that pesky K-State loss that cost it a perfect season.