All season long the narrative has been “Yeah, Baylor is undefeated, but who have they played?”
Well, the No. 6 Bears had an answer for those people tonight, crushing No. 10 Oklahoma, 41-12, in one of the biggest games in school history.
With the win, Baylor moves to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big 12. Oklahoma falls to 7-2 and 4-2 in league play. It was just the second-ever win by Baylor over OU.
It took about a quarter-and-a-half for the normally hyper-dynamic Bears to get in sync on offense. Once they did, it was hard for Oklahoma to stop them. Baylor piled up 459 total yards and 28 first downs in what was, overall, a sub-par game for its offense. But 41 points is 41 points, right? Quarterback Bryce Petty bolstered his Heisman Trophy candidacy by accounting for five touchdowns (three passing and two running) and throwing for 204 yards while rushing for 45.
The story of the game, however, might’ve been the Baylor defense. The Bears, who finished next-to-last in the FBS in total defense last season, have turned it around in 2013. OU was held to 237 total yards and 16 first downs. Sooners quarterback Blake Bell had a rough outing, completing 15 of 35 passes for 150 yards and two interceptions.
The other story of the game was the emergence of Baylor’s third-string tailback Shock Linwood. The freshman came in after injuries to Lache Seastrunk and Glascoe Martin and rushed for a career-high 182 yards on 23 carries. His timely running helped the Bears run out the clock on the Sooners in the second half.
Mark it down: The Bears are a legitimate national title contender and are now the clear favorites to win the Big 12, just as Petty is now a legitimate Heisman contender. The next month won’t be easy, as games with Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas loom on the schedule, but Baylor could end up being this year’s wrench in the BCS works.