BIG 12 COWBOYS FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Baylor 21, Oklahoma State 16

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We all wondered how the state of Oklahoma would react after an exhausting and emotional victory over Oklahoma in Bedlam.

The defense came out a bit flat and Baylor’s freshman QB, just his 2nd start, completed his first 17 assists and was losing dimes.

The offense?

Implosion. Four Spencer Sanders interceptions would doom Oklahoma state’s dreams of a college football playoff spot.

Baylor would move well on his first possession, but a fumble in OSU territory would end it. Oklahoma State put together a good opening practice that stopped inside the Bears’ 10-yard line (and that would be a nasty tale for the game), so the Cowboys would settle for an FG. to take a 3-0 lead early on. Defense would come out to force a three and get out, but then the OSU went in that direction on the next six drives …

2 games, INT
4 games, INT
3 games, PUNT
3 games, PUNT
10 pieces, FG (there is this story I mentioned)
8 games, INT

The first two interceptions would give Baylor extremely short fields which they took advantage of, and a positional battle on the field gave them the ball on the OSU side which they converted to TD. The Bears’ game plan was well crafted and mirrored that of Iowa State, taking advantage of plenty of short passes and some TE stitching routes, as well as a TD pass and grab that was, I have to. say, the chef’s kiss.

The Cowboys found themselves down 21-6 at halftime, but got the ball to start the third quarter. Positive?

(see last INT listed above)

As has happened so often this season, Jim Knowles’ defense and a few mistakes from the opponent would keep OSU in this area. Besides the short scores on the field, Baylor’s offense would yield a fumble, five punts and a turnover on the downs. Their special teams would be worse, posting two FG attempts (one blocked, one miss) and one missed punt that resulted in… can you guess… another Oklahoma state FG. Turning around on downs was a headache for me, and that resulted in the one Cowboys touchdown that completely changed the tenor of the game.

Overall (courtesy of ESPN) OSU would win all statistical categories … except one.

I’m not gonna lie, it hurts.

Oklahoma State, no matter how bad its offense from INTs and punts, would have five practices inside Baylor’s 10-yard line, three of those inside the five. WITH THE FIRST LOWS. Results?

1 DT
3 FG
1 turnover on the bottom

The latter, with the game on the line, was brutal.

The Cowboys would get the ball back with no downtime, 3:14 remaining in the game and 90 yards to pay. After a fairly methodical and impressive walk on the pitch, OSU would have a 3rd and 3 at Baylor Six. Sanders went for the fade to Tay Martin and Bear’s Mark Milton was flagged for pass interference.

First down OSU on both from Baylor. The clock was ticking just over a minute and Baylor had no more downtime.

Oklahoma State would be rolling out a package that I can’t remember seeing this year, with an additional lineman as blockers on the right edge. After two tries, the Cowboys had barely gained a yard. It was screaming for a misdirection game of some sort. On the third try, they performed a nice playing action in the same formation, and one of the additional linemen crept into the end zone and for a while was WIDE open.

However, that was not the case, as Sanders’ first reading was that the lineman was running shallow and by the time he got out of that and moved on to the other option, the Baylor defender had recovered and made a nice play to break the throw. Then, in fourth position with the season in play, OSU put the ball back in the hands of Dezmond Jackson and he got SO close …

Four discs inside Baylor’s 10 would give nine points. Gundy needs to give a few of those schollies he took off the attack so we can bring in more offensive linemen.

This is not going to take anything away from Baylor, their defense collapsed and the offense took advantage of opportunities. I’m curious about the confusion during that final quarterfinal when it emerged that Baylor tried to call a time-out, only to get the refs to regroup, say play, and the Cowboys had to recover. in position for the game.

I will say that OSU’s offense has struggled all season with injuries in many positions. Jaylen Warren was out, Pressley was limited due to some sort of flu virus, they were missing their starting center and the replacement, who performed admirably last week, was eaten alive today. It just seemed like he was never really able to free everyone at the same time.

That being said … the planning of attacking play is questionable at best. OC Kasey Dunn, in his sophomore year, said it after the game …

Dude, you left enough games in the book that you could call up two or three more games using just those and have some left over. Only one “trick” play was used in a play that saw the offensive line explode almost every play. For all of you calling for Illingworth, please he would have been killed. Baylor has very good defense, not insurmountable, but you have to keep them off balance, and Kasey Dunn’s play appeal decidedly didn’t do that.

Then you add Spencer Sanders to that.

The first time he saw Baylor, he threw three pickaxes. Against OU he should have had three, but one was dropped which would have been a six pick. Granted, two of his INTs today were sort of the result of getting hit while throwing, but his first was an absolute howler and another was the one he should have thrown into the ground. (Pressley’s who was up and behind him as he got hit and Baylor grabbed the deflection). Sanders has enough talent AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THIS KIND OF DEFENSE to overcome a few, but you’ve seen how difficult it is to overcome four.

I really don’t know what I think about Spencer continuing to QB. He has another year if he chooses to exercise it, and if he does, it is VERY likely that he will be the starter next season. I can not fault his competitiveness, the kid leaves everything on the ground.

But the defense probably won’t be that tight next season despite having eight returning players, and the offensive line needs to improve a LOT if we are to have a tree there. Regardless, I don’t trust Gundy for QB decisions (but I’m not going to that rabbit hole just yet).

We will have plenty of time to tackle all of this during the winter and focus on spring football as the hoops will not be playing in March / April.

For now, let’s try to capitalize on an 11-win season with what should be the birth of a six-bowl NYr. They will have four weeks to regain health.

Then we can watch all the gadget games play out for the bowl game.

GO POKES !!!

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