By Daniel Stober
As we all know the Baylor program has been in shambles after they “drained the swamp.” With the expectations of this season at an all-time low and starting the most freshmen in the league, the Baylor Bears (0-3) played host to the #3 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) on Saturday.
The game started as most Sooner fans would have thought. Baylor electing to defer to the second half and giving the ball to the Lincoln and the squad first. Badet returns the opening kick 70 yards down to the Baylor 29 and three plays later Mayfield finds Andrews for a TD. A score in less than a minute. OU forces Baylor to punt their first possession and again three plays later the Sooners find the end zone.
That is when this game really starts going off the rails. Baylor begins to carve up the Sooners defense and march down the field. The drive stalls out and they miss a Field goal. OU with the ball on their own 20 just couldn’t seem to get anything going and punted the ball away just a few plays later which is returned back to the OU 20.
The Bears, with a little momentum at their backs, run one play and score. The ensuing kickoff is muffed by Badet but recovered by OU just outside the end zone. Sooner fans thoughts of “what is going on here?” are quickly put to rest as Abdul Adams sets a Sooner record 99 & 3/4 yard TD run.
Lincoln Riley now with all the momentum decides to go for a dagger and kick an onside. Seibert’s kick was just a little too high and though recovered by OU lands out of bounds and is Baylor ball with great field position. The Bears are only able to make a FG out of it though.
OU with still a little poise grabs a circus catch for a huge gain on their next possession and a couple plays later another TD. Big plays being the theme of the game so far; the Bears throw a 71 yd TD pass to Mims bringing our score to 28-17 at the half. Hardly the blowout Sooner fans (even I) were expecting.
The start of the second half was all Baylor as they quickly rattled off 14 unanswered points taking a 28-31 lead and forcing OU to punt and fumble on their next possession. Riley pulled everyone aside on the sideline and laid into them. Then even gave Mayfield his own little pep-talk.
From there the Sooners looked to get things back on track. They pulled out their secret weapon. The freshman Trey Sermon. He brought new life into the stagnant Sooner offense. Sermon could not be tackled as he averaged over 12 yards a carry on his 12 carries. This helped the Sooners Score 21 unanswered points bringing the score to 49-31.
You would think that would be the end of it. But if there are a few takeaways from Baylor this game it’s that they play with heart and they found their new quarterback in Zack Smith.
The Bears never gave up. Zack Smith continued to find holes in the OU secondary and make big plays. With a couple late scores the Bears cut the deficit to 8 points and set for an onside kick. The kick, unlike Seiberts earlier, was perfect and recovered by Baylor. Ultimately their luck ran out. The second play on the drive was a fumble and recovered by Chris Kelly and OU was then able to kneel out the clock.
Mayfield finished the game 13-19 passing for 283 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions. OU extended the nations longest active winning streak to 14. Lincoln Riley becomes the 3rd Sooner head coach to start his career 4-0.
The now 0-4 Bears have proven that they will be a worthy adversary in the Big XII and should not be taken lightly. The Sooners need to re-evaluate their game plan on their upcoming bye week. They play host to the Iowa State Cyclones which “should” be an easy game.