The Big 12 is officially up for grabs as the Baylor Bears took down the formerly undefeated Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater tonight, 45-35.
Baylor was in control from the beginning, playing its signature spread offense to the point where Oklahoma State looked just plain outmatched and frustrated most of the time. By halftime, the score was 24-14 in favor of the Bears.
True freshman Jarrett Stidham started the game despite having dealt with a back injury suffered against Oklahoma last week. He completed 12 of 21 throws for 258 yards and a touchdown, but suffered an ankle injury and did not play in the second half. He was replaced by third-stringer Chris Johnson, who had spent time at wide receiver this season and was an emergency QB in every sense of the word. Even with Baylor in the lead, it looked like Oklahoma State would win out at home and improve to 11-0 on the year.
Except, Johnson answered the bell in a huge way. He completed 5 0f 10 passes for 138 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but he had a great support system behind him. Shock Linwood rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown and Baylor came together for 303 yards on the ground.
On the receiving end, KD Cannon led the way with five catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns, including one for 71 yards in the third quarter. Star wideout Corey Coleman had five receptions of his own, but only managed 77 yards and was held without a touchdown for the second week in a row.
Oh, and let’s not forget Baylor’s defense. The Bears limited the ‘Pokes to eight rush yards, and Baylor had 701 total yards to Oklahoma State’s 441. Simply put, there was no stopping Art Briles’ offensive attack today.
Oklahoma State had a fighting chance with a late fourth quarter charge that culminated with a 65-yard drive that lasted a minute and ended with a J.W. Walsh two-yard touchdown run, but the Cowboys couldn’t recover the onside kick. As a result, depending on how Oklahoma fares against TCU tonight, the Big 12 could be completely in disarray.
Oklahoma State is now 10-1 on the year, and Oklahoma could have that same record with a win tonight. The Sooners wrap up their season with a visit to Stillwater next weekend, but Baylor has two games left against TCU and then Texas. TCU has one game remaining.
Needless to say, the next two weeks are going to be quite interesting in the Big 12, though it now seems unlikely that a team from the conference will make the College Football Playoff.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports