Game Day Vitals: Baylor At #12 Oklahoma - Its All About Defense And Passing

Cooper Neill

For the Sooners to defend their home turf on Saturday they'll need to exploit a vulnerable Balyor defense and Nick Florence

Game Info

Baylor 4-4, 1-4 at Oklahoma 6-2, 4-1

Kickoff: 2:30 pm (CST)

Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Television: Fox Sports Net

Radio: Sooner Radio Network

Opponent Blog: Our Daily Bears

The Sooners are gunning for their seventh win of the season and while it looks promising on paper one thing that the last couple of years have shown us is that things don't always come easy for Oklahoma. Texas Tech, last season, is a perfect example of why OU should be fully prepared for battle on Saturday. The good news though is that Oklahoma game plan relies heavily on two fronts, exploit the defense and limit the passing game. If the Sooners do that then victory is all but assured.

Baylor Scouting Report

We've already mention the Bears' defense and passing a few times here, but let me throw some numbers at you. Baylor is 117th in the nation in scoring defense. They are allowing an average of 39.1 points per game for the course of the season but 44.8 points per game in conference play. They are the bottom of the barrel, in the Big 12, against both the pass and the rush with their pass defense being just a little worse off.

Opposing quarterbacks are completing 64.9% of their passes against the Bears, which is second worst in the conference. Teams are passing for 326.6 yards per game (again, second worst) and Baylor has give up a league high 24 passing touchdowns.

Against the run, the news isn't much better. Opponents are averaging 4.7 yards per carry against Baylor and 200.6 yards per game. Only Texas is worse against the rush and I just did a, "Horns down sign to which Mack Brown wants me penalized." Based on the numbers, Baylor is an equal opportunity opportunity provider, which makes you wonder how OU should attack them. There is no question that the Sooners should have their way on Saturday with this Baylor defense.

The Bears' four wins this season have come as a result of being on top in a shootout. In all four of their losses they scored 21 points or more. Baylor has the nation's top passing attack, with an average of 392.1 yards per game. Senior quarterback Nick Florence has completed 64.2% of his passes on the year for 3,019 yards and 25 touchdowns. The offense certainly moves through him, and a good day by Florence means that the Bears are in the game.

Florence is aided by a decent rushing attack that can be downright dangerous at times. The Bears have crossed the goal line , on the ground, 18 times this season and are led by Glascio Martin who has a team high six rushing touchdowns and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Even at that, if you stop Baylor thought the air then you stop their offense.

When it comes to special teams, the Bears are 10-16 on field goals. Levi Norwood is averaging 8.5 yards per punt return and Antwan Goodley 20.1 yards per kickoff return. Punter Spencer Roth has only booted the ball 22 times this season, but six of them have been for 50 yards or more and he's pinned opponents inside their own 20 ten times.

Oklahoma seems to have the advantage in just about every area of this game, with few exceptions. What the Sooners must do is get pressure on Florence, by taking away his receivers, and forcing the Bears to try and attack them on the ground. Yes, I know, that may be easier said than done.

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