November 30, 2012

Matchup breakdown: Oklahoma State vs. Baylor

It's been a slow week for Oklahoma State, as has shown with the handful of posts I've put up.
So I decided to do something I haven't done on here before. Here's a quick game breakdown as we prepare for tomorrow's matchup with Baylor (6-5, 3-5 Big 12) at 11 a.m. in Waco.

Oklahoma State passing offense vs. Baylor defense

Clint Chelf has been distributing the ball well for the Cowboys, posting 253 yards and a touchdown against the Sooner. He has a chance to be even bigger than that this week against a weak Baylor defense, and even more so secondary. At the beginning of the year, Geno Smith torched the Bears through the air, starting a long line of impressive stat lines from opposing quarterbacks. The latest was Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege last weekend in Cowboys Stadium, when he went off for 359 yards and 3 touchdowns. OSU will look to establish the run first, but with the type of marathon game this may be, he'll be throwing the ball more often than not.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Baylor passing offense vs. Oklahoma State defense

You could basically take out Chelf's name and stats from the above paragraph and enter Nick Florence's instead. He abused Tech's defense last week for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns last week with no interceptions, and has been a gunslinger all year. His favorite target is Terrance Williams, who's having a Justin Blackmon-like season with over 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns receiving. On the flip side, they're facing a defense that gave up 500 yards to Sooner QB Landry Jones last week. Is Oklahoma State capable of stopping a passing attack like Baylor's? Absolutely, a few weeks ago they shut down Texas Tech. But will they? I'm not so sure about that one.

Edge: Baylor

Oklahoma State rushing offense vs. Baylor defense

Joseph Randle is returning to form after a lull in the middle of the season. Coach Mike Gundy said that Randle ran as hard against the Sooners as he did against Texas, and that he hasn't seen that since the Texas game back in September. It doesn't really matter what Baylor does on defense. If OSU can establish the pass and Randle decides to get going while his offensive line is getting the push they normally do, no defense in the Big 12 will stop him.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Baylor rushing offense vs. Oklahoma State defense

Baylor's one-two punch of Glasco Martin and speedster Lache Seastrunk is about as lethal as you can have. Add in Florence, who can pull it down and take off, and you've got a defensive nightmare. Baylor's offense is almost exactly the same as OSU's in that the running thrives due to the pass being established, and that's exactly what the Bears did to Kansas State when they knocked them off in Waco a few weeks ago. Across the ball, Oklahoma State's front seven is playing great. They held Oklahoma to just 106 rushing yards last week, with 25% of that coming in the overtime period. If they get their swagger back and perform like they have all the way up until the last couple of minutes against Oklahoma, the Cowboys may just have what it takes to shut down that Baylor ground attack. But once again, it's all in what they want to do.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Baylor coach Art Briles vs. Mike Gundy

Briles has done a great job this season as he transitioned from Heisman-winner Robert Griffin III to Florence, and got his team a monstrous win over the K-State Wildcats a few weeks ago, then did it again against Texas Tech. Gundy's done nothing but build what's another successful year or two short of a dynasty-like program at Oklahoma State. Pick whichever you want, but I know who I'm taking.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State vs. Floyd Casey Stadium

This place is a death-trap for some reason, and I can't figure out why. It's not necessarily a place that puts fear in your heart when you see it on game day, as they rarely fill the stadium up like most other Big 12 schools do. But for some reason, the Bears win there, and they do it no matter who they're playing. For that alone, it's a bit scary to go as a visiting team, and that potential tips the scales.

Edge: Baylor

Overall

It should be a fun game with a lot of points, but I don't have a great feeling about it. They're coming off of a gut-wrenching overtime loss in Norman, but they've responded well from every other loss so far this season except the Kansas game after the Texas loss. That being said, all of those games after a loss have been at Boone Pickens Stadium. They haven't been a great road team at all this year already (They're 1-3 and 0-3 in away games I've been to), and I think Baylor poses just enough of a threat to somehow get it done, especially since they're coming in on a two-game winning streak. To my forum friends, I'm sorry, but I'm taking Baylor by a hair.

Prediction: Baylor 48, Oklahoma State 41


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