The Bears, 11-1, will have a chance to avenge their only loss of the season in this game. Oklahoma defeated Baylor 34-31 after overcoming a 25-point deficit just three weeks ago, keeping its College Football Playoff hopes alive in the process. The Sooners (11-1) can still nab the final playoff spot with some help from other major conference opponents. But first, Oklahoma will have to beat the Bears in Texas for the Big 12 Championship. Can the Sooners take care of business at AT&T Stadium against a Baylor team hungry for some revenge?
Despite being the lower-seeded team, Baylor will have the advantage of playing this game in front of a strong home crowd, as AT&T Stadium is located about an hour-and-a-half away from the Baylor University campus. Much like the Sooners, Baylor has a chance to make the College Football Playoffs with a win on Saturday. Even with a victory, Baylor will need losses from Georgia (vs. LSU) and Utah (vs. Oregon) to bolster its case for the final playoff spot. No matter what happens this weekend, Baylor fans still have plenty to be encouraged about. This season, they became the first Power Five team ever to go from 1-11 to 11-1 in a span of just two seasons under head coach Matt Rhule. If the Bears were to finish in the dreaded No. 5 spot, it would make the second time in the College Football Playoff-era that Baylor finished on the outside looking in (2014).
Oklahoma has made the College Football Playoffs in three of the last four seasons and they have a strong chance of earning the final playoff spot this season with a win on Saturday. With Georgia playing LSU, the final playoff spot is likely to come down to either Oklahoma or Utah. The Sooners have a better chance of winning their conference championship game and they’ve had a tougher schedule than the Utes, giving them an advantage in the chase for the No. 4 spot. If everything goes as planned this weekend, Oklahoma should find itself in the College Football Playoffs for the fourth time since moving to the format in 2014.
Bears still have a shot to make College Football PlayoffThe Bears wallopped Kansas 61-6 in their previous contest to head into the Big 12 Championship game with some added confidence. Baylor’s defense showed up in a big way, producing six turnovers and limiting the Jayhawks to just 258 yards of total offense in the win. Charlie Brewer threw for 182 yards with one touchdown and one interception while JaMycal Hasty rushed for 92 yards and three scores for the Bears, who have now won 11 games for just the third time since 1899.
In honor of Baylor being 7-0, I bring you Josh Fleeks and Charlie Brewer ft. Beethoven's Seventh. pic.twitter.com/wXVZ9Vt1WJ— Travis (@Travis_Roeder) October 21, 2019
Baylor’s only loss of the season came in disappointing fashion at home against then-No.10-ranked Oklahoma. However, they’ve cleaned things up since allowing a combined 16 points over their past two games. While this won’t be a home game for the Bears, expect plenty of Baylor faithful in the crowd on Saturday.
The Bears’ hopes will likely rest upon the shoulders of quarterback Charlie Brewer and the defense’s ability to keep Jalen Hurts and company off of the scoreboard. Brewer threw a game-ending interception in the first matchup and was largely ineffective after halftime. The junior quarterback as been efficient under center for the Bears this season, throwing for 2,935 yards with 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions while also adding 340 yards and a team-high 10 scores on the ground with his legs. Brewer leads an offense that comes in scoring 36.2 points and averaging 445.1 yards of total offense per contest.
On defense, Baylor has limited opposing teams to just 18.4 points and 350.9 yards of total offense per contest, including only 208.8 yards per game through the air, which ranks 43rd in the nation. In their previous matchup against Oklahoma, Baylor forced Hurts into three fumbles, recovering two on the day.
Sooners fighting for third straight Big 12 ChampionshipKennedy Brooks rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown to help the Sooners defeat No. 21-ranked Oklahoma State in their final regular-season game. Jalen Hurts threw for 163 yards and a score while adding 61 rushing yards and a score on the ground for the Sooners, who limited Oklahoma State to just 335 yards of total offense on the day.
The Sooners have been nothing short of spectacular since Lincoln Riley took over as head coach. In three seasons, Riley has led the Sooners to a 35-5 record and is one win away from his third consecutive Big 12 Championship. In the earlier matchup against Baylor this season, the Sooners became the first team in NCAA history to overcome a second-half deficit of at least 21 points over a team with a record of 9-0 or better since NCAA classification began in 1937, according to ESPN.
Jalen Hurts INT 🔄 Another Baylor TD!— ESPN (@espn) November 17, 2019
Bears up 28-3 on the Sooners 😱 pic.twitter.com/v8OYNBwJNE
Ball security is going to be key for Hurts and the Sooners in this game. Hurts had three turnovers against the Bears in the first matchup, which prematurely ended drives in the first half. For the most part, the former Alabama-transfer has been efficient with the football this season. He’s thrown for 3,347 yards with 31 touchdowns and only six interceptions while completing 71.9 percent of his passes. He’s also added a career-best 1,217 yards and 18 scores on the ground, making him one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Hurts leads the NCAA’s No. 1 offense in terms of total yardage at 564.3 yards per game and 8.36 yards per play. The Sooners also rank as the fifth-highest scoring offense in the country at 44.3 points per contest.
On defense, the Sooners have surrendered a respectable 24.7 points per contest and 336.1 total yards per game this season. Oklahoma ranks 22nd in the country against the pass, allowing just 195.9 yards per game through the air.
- Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Bears are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games in December.
- Bears are 8-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Sooners are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Sooners are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
- Sooners are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.