Three storylines: Oklahoma State at Baylor
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 3:30 AM
Can Baylor finally stop OSU?
Baylor doesn't have the stoutest defense in the universe. The Bears rank 88th nationally in run defense, 116th in scoring defense, 118th in passing yards allowed and 119th (next to last) in total defense.
But Baylor seems to be especially porous when matched against OSU.
In 2010 - the first year that the Cowboys used their current offense - they dropped a school-record 725 yards (since eclipsed) on the Bears.
In 2011, OSU averaged 9.5 yards per play and 12.1 yards per rush at Baylor's expense. The Cowboys rolled to a 49-3 third-quarter lead and called off the dogs before "settling" for a 59-24 triumph.
Unless OSU self-destructs with penalties or turnovers, there's no reason to believe it won't put up big numbers again.
Baylor, which has won 11 of its last 12 home games, will bid goodbye to 23 seniors when they make their final Floyd Casey Stadium appearance on Saturday.
Will that bring out the best in the Bears?
"Hopefully that brings a little more passion and heart to the seniors playing," senior quarterback Nick Florence said."
OSU is 2-5 in the Mike Gundy era in the last road game of the season. But the Cowboys are 6-1 against Baylor with a six-game winning streak.
"To beat them would be a great wrap up to my career," senior receiver Terrance Williams said. "OSU is a team that we as a senior class haven't beaten yet, so to beat them here would be a great wrap up."
OSU is coming off an emotional game - the first overtime Bedlam in history.
"It's just something that we have to put behind us," senior guard Lane Taylor said. "This year we've done a great job of bouncing back after Arizona, Texas and Kansas State. This team has already dealt with this situation, and we'll be able to put it in the past."
Because Bedlam was physically and emotionally taxing and because the Cowboys will play on an eighth consecutive Saturday, coach Mike Gundy canceled practice Sunday and let players watch stand-up comedy on Netflix instead. They said all the right things during a press conference one day later. Said senior linebacker Alex Elkins, "You don't want to have a bye week and let all this set in. I'm very appreciative to play a game this upcoming week."
Oklahoma State's Kye Staley scores a touchdown as he is pursued by Baylor's Elliot Coffey (center) and Ahmad Dixon last season. In that game, OSU averaged 9.5 yards per play and 12.1 yards per rush at Baylor's expense. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World file