Conference: Big XII
Season Record: 7-1
Last Week's Opponent: Kansas 60-14
Points Scored Per Game: 50.4 (Ranks 1st Nationally)
Points Allowed Per Game: 21.9 (Ranks 32nd Nationally)
Last Meeting With Sooners: November 7, 2013 (W 41-12)
Opponent Blog: Our Daily Bears
You may have grown up with Oklahoma dominating Baylor on the football field but Art Briles has changed all of that. The Bears have won two of the last three meetings between the two schools and are looking for an unprecedented three out of four. For the Sooners to score their first win over a ranked team this season they'll have to be opportunistic on offense and aggressive on defense. Baylor stacks up with a speed attack on offense and a defense that likes to gamble.
Senior quarterback Bryce Petty continues to be the centerpiece of the Bears' offensive attack. So far in 2014 he's connecting on 54.8% of his passes for 2,034 total yards and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 20-3. The Bears are the top passing offense in the Big 12 with an average of 349 yards per game.
Freshman receiver KD Cannon leads Baylor in both receptions (36) and receiving yards (714). He also has six receiving touchdowns which places him just one score behind sophomore Corey Coleman who is leading the team. You also can't sleep on senior Antwan Goodley who is averaging 16.6 yards per reception and has scored four times through the air.
Baylor's offensive line has given up eleven sacks this season and is paving the way for a team rushing average of 4.9 yards per carry. Sophomore Shock Linwood is slightly above that average at 5 yards per carry and leads the team both in rushing yards (777) and rushing touchdowns (10). I should come as no surprise that Baylor also leads the conference in rushing yards per game at 241.3, with the Sooners just behind at 231.8 yards per game.
This may be where the biggest difference between this year's and last year's Baylor team. The Bears are giving up an average of 29.6 points per game in conference play but are third overall in the conference in scoring defense. Led by senior linebacker Bryce Hager (63 total tackles) the Bears have the top rush defense in the conference. Opponents are averaging 2.7 yards per carry against Baylor and 99 yards per game. Opponents have scored a total of ten rushing touchdowns against Baylor this season.
Defensive end Shawn Oakman leads the assault against quarterbacks with a team high six sacks. A total of eleven Baylor defenders have participated in in the Bears' 27 sacks so far. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging a 52.9% completion rate against Baylor and have thrown ten touchdowns to six interceptions. Safety Orion Stewart and corner Xavien Howard share the team's six interceptions with three each.
Yes it's true, the Sooners have yet to beat a ranked team this season. They have been close though! Without taking away from the accomplishments of TCU and Kansas State, you can sum up Oklahoma's two losses in just one word...mistakes. Above all else OU must play mistake free football on Saturday. In narrow losses you can point out a blown coverage, a missed tackle, a bad play call, or a turnover and call it the final nail in the coffin. Oklahoma needs to move away from those mistakes because they are absolutely what has been holding them back from turning the corner.