Jay Lee

Associated Press

No. 10 Baylor snaps No. 6 OK State’s 12-game winning streak behind 3rd string QB

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No. 10 Baylor sent No. 6 Oklahoma State careening from the ranks of the unbeatens, ending the Pokes 12-game winning streak with a 45-35 win Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. And now, if they hope to claim their third straight Big 12 championship, Baylor gets to turn around and root for these Pokes next week.

Baylor led 14-0 just over three minutes in and 24-14 at the half thanks to the rocket arm of freshman Jarrett Stidham and lightning legs of Corey ColemanK.D. Cannon and Jay Lee, as Stidham hit 12-of-21 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game at halftime with an ankle injury. Third-string quarterback (and former wide receiver) Chris Johnson played the entire second half and picked up where Stidham left off, ending his first two drives with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Lee and a 71-yarder to Cannon, pushing the lead back to a comfortable 38-14 with 6:24 to go in the third quarter.

Oklahoma State eventually found its footing on defense and pulled within 38-28 with five minutes remaining, but Johnson pushed the Bears 30 yards in seven plays, capping the march with a four-yard touchdown run, to put the game away with 2:10 remaining.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5 sophomore who had not recorded a statistic this season, completed 5-of-10 throws for 138 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

But it was Baylor’s massive edge in the trenches that won them this game. The Bears out-rushed Oklahoma State 303-8. Yes, you read that correctly. Chris Carson led Oklahoma State’s ground efforts with 20 yards on six carries. Six different Bears topped that number, led by Shock Linwood‘s 91 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Johnny Jefferson added 62 yards, Devin Chaffin 60 and Johnson trotted for 42 yards on six carries.

Mason Rudolph completed 27-of-50 passes for 430 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions but was sacked six times. He was credited with seven carries for minus-38 yards on the night.

Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) shoots back to the top of the Big 12 standings, needing Oklahoma State to beat Oklahoma next week in Stillwater to secure a Big 12 championship. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) can win a share of the title with a win over Oklahoma next week, but the Pokes would need a Baylor loss to TCU to win the league outright.

Both teams, however, are still on the outside looking in of the College Football Playoff picture – and will remain that way unless Armageddon breaks out between now and Selection Sunday.

No. 12 Oklahoma jumps into thick of Big 12, CFP race with win at No. 6 Baylor

Associated Press
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The race for the College Football Playoff is a political campaign, about separating your candidate from the rest of the field. So here’s No. 12 Oklahoma’s stump speech: sure they lost to Texas, but after Saturday night’s 44-34 win at No. 6 Baylor, they’re they only candidate on that stage to win in Waco in the last three calendar years. Beyond that, they’re the only team to make the Bears look mortal.

The Sooners ended Baylor’s FBS-leading 20-game home winning streak – becoming the first visitor to ever win in McLane Stadium – by dominating the line of scrimmage on both ends.

Samaje Perine rushed 28 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while Baker Mayfield danced his way to 270 passing yards and three touchdowns while rushing 76 times for another score.

The defense, meanwhile, manhandled the Bears’ attack, closing in on freshman Jarrett Stidham throughout the evening to the tune of two sacks and eight tackles for loss. Outside of its drives to open the first and second halves (18 plays, 155 yards, 13 points), Baylor looked – gasp – average, with six punts, two interceptions and one fumble to go with three additional touchdown drives.

Stidham completed 16 of his 27 passes for 257 yards with two touchdowns and two picks, while Shock Linwood grinded out 21 carries for 103 yards. Devin Chafin rushed 13 times for 49 yards and three touchdowns.

Oklahoma led 20-13 after a back-and-forth first half and allowed the Bears to immediately tie the game on their first possession of the second half. Then the Sooners took over. Mayfield hit Shepard for a seven-yard score to re-take the lead, then got the ball back a minute later and cleared Perine for a 55-yard touchdown sprint, pushing the lead to 34-20.

Stidham hit LaQuan McGowan for a five-yard score to pull the Bears within 34-27, then clawed within 37-34 with a 17-yard scoring strike to Jay Lee at the 10:29 mark of the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma marched 78 yards in 10 plays on its next possession – consuming 5:42 in the process – as Mayfield found Dimitri Flowers for a seven-yard score on third-and-goal.

Stidham was intercepted on Baylor’s next play, and Oklahoma secured the win it needed to jump itself into the thick of the College Football Playoff race.

Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) will likely be favored in its final two games against No. 15 TCU (in Norman) and No. 8 Oklahoma State (in Stillwater) over the next two weeks while rooting for chaos elsewhere. Baylor (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) would need about three earthquakes to jump back in the race, as the Bears are likely delegated to spoiler status as they work to claim a third straight Big 12 title and secure a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

No. 6 Baylor shows signs of mortality in win at K-State

Associated Press
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So, it’s come to this. Baylor, ranked sixth in the country, winners of all eight games this season and 34 of their last 38, wins 31-24 at Kansas State and we’re left picking nits. But such is life when you play to win games and impress the 12 oracles on the College Football Playoff selection committee.

First, the good. Jarrett Stidham made his first career start in relief of the injured Seth Russell and looked, well, nothing like a true freshman making his first career start in a road conference game. The true freshman completed 23-of-33 passes for 419 yards (10th most in Baylor history) and three touchdowns (plus another rushing score) with no turnovers. He smartly found certain All-American and Belitnikoff finalist Corey Coleman early and often, including a 36-yard connection on the first play from scrimmage, setting the stage for a 7-0 Baylor lead just 1:46 into the game, and an 81-yard touchdown strike to give the Bears a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter. For the game, Coleman snared 11 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, bringing the junior to an astounding 58 grabs for 1,178 yards and 20 touchdowns – with still a full third of the regular season to go.

K.D. Cannon also added four receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown, and Jay Lee scored four grabs for 61 yards.

That said, the Bears did miss Russell on Thursday evening.

Baylor did not run the ball like a team that entered the game ranked third nationally at 338.3 yards per game. Not even close. The Bears squeezed out only 103 yards on 34 carries, led by Shock Linwood‘s 13 carries for 72 yards. The 93 yards and 3.03 yards per carry easily stand as Baylor’s lowest outputs this season.

And while the offense racked up 533 yards on 8.2 yards per snap, it failed to put the game away after leading 21-7 at the half and 31-10 with 12:20 remaining. Baylor came up empty on three second half possessions, including their final touch, which ended in a missed 41-yard field goal by Chris Callahan, which gave Kansas State one last chance to send the game to overtime with 51 seconds remaining.

Part of the reason Baylor could not put the pesky Wildcats away was that the Bears’ defense couldn’t get K-State off the field. Running what amounted to a glorified version of the veer offense, Joe Huebner led the Wildcats by completing 12-of-21 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown (with an interception) to go with 29 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns (with a fumble). Charles Jones added 16 rushes for 76 yards. In all, the Wildcats rushed 48 times for 252 yards, and that consistent ground success allowed K-State to simply sit on the football. Their first possession, a 17-play, 88-yard touchdown drive, lasted nine minutes and 21 seconds. After falling behind 31-10, Kansas State methodically climbed back in the game by moving 84 yards in five plays to pull within 31-17, and then marching 77 yards in seven snaps to climb within one score.

Baylor’s defense did end the game for good after Callahan’s missed field goal when Terrell Burt sniffed out a trick play and intercepted a double pass from wide receiver Kody Cook on the first play of the Wildcats’ ensuing possession.

So while Baylor (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) will not play another team quite like Kansas State (3-5, 0-5 Big 12) in its quest for a third straight Big 12 title, each of the other three teams vying for the league crown saw something Thursday night they can use against Art Briles and company.

Then again, perhaps we’re being too hard on these Bears. After all, Robert Griffin III lost in Manhattan on his way to winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy, and Bryce Petty also needed 59 minutes to put away the SnyderCats on his way to the 2013 Big 12 title. Stidham stands quite tall when stacked against those guys.

But this much is clear: after eight weeks of prelude, Baylor’s do-or-die three-game season begins next Saturday against Oklahoma, and it’ll take a more complete effort than what the Bears showed Thursday night to beat the Sooners.

No. 5 Baylor lighting up the scoreboard in Jerry World

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A week ago Texas Tech went toe-to-toe with TCU. This week the Red Raiders are struggling to keep pace with No. 5 Baylor. After one half of play in Arlington, Baylor has already scored 42 points and has put together over 400 yards of offense. As a result, Baylor leads Texas Tech 49-21.

Baylor quarterback Seth Russell has thrown for 251 yards and three touchdowns and run for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Baylor’s Shock Linwood leads all players with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Jay Lee already has 120 receiving yards and Corey Coleman caught two of Russell’s touchdown passes to go with his 89 receiving yards.

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes has had his moments as well, with 255 passing yards and three touchdowns in the first half. But Texas Tech simply has not been able to keep going on offense the way Baylor has.

Look for Baylor to keep its foot on the gas in the second half, which means even more big numbers in the box score for the offensive players.