All season long, people have been clamoring about the overpowering offense of the Baylor Bears, and how impossible it can be to stop. There’s a lot of merit there, as Baylor is leading the FBS in yards per game, passing yards per game and points per game this year.
The Bears’ next opponent, the Oklahoma Sooners, has the best chance so far to slow down Bryce Petty, Lache Seastrunk and company, but we shouldn’t expect slow down to equal shut down. Oklahoma’s defense is good, but it’s not fair to ask them to shoulder the entire burden of trying to beat the undefeated Bears this Thursday night.
No, in fact, most of the pressure should be on Oklahoma’s offense.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, Oklahoma’s offense, if it can sustain drives and take time off the clock, will keep Baylor’s potent, fast-scoring offense off the field. If they can burn clock and shorten the game, it increases Oklahoma’s chances of winning exponentially. Secondly, it gives the defense a chance to catch their breath. Baylor scores fast, and often, and that can wear out a defense if their offense doesn’t give them a break. It’s imperative that the Sooners’ offense sustain drives and keep the defense fresh, because they’ll be running around all night.
How does this happen? With a solid running game. Blake Bell will need to be on his A-game Thursday night, and Oklahoma’s running game as a whole will need to come ready to play.
That being said, it would be unreasonable to ask Oklahoma’s offense to go score-for-score with Baylor, and obviously a solid performance from the Sooners’ defense will be necessary to win the game, but Oklahoma’s offense will need to relieve some of the stress on the defense by keeping Baylor off the field.
This won’t be an easy task, though, because as good and hyped up as Baylor’s offense is, the defense is equally as good, it’s just flying under the radar. The Bears’ defense ranks sixth in the country this season in points allowed, at 15.9 points per game. Some of this can be contributed to Baylor’s relatively soft schedule, but that shouldn’t be cause to take them lightly.
Essentially, Oklahoma’s offense could, in fact, be it’s best form of defense, and a good, high-scoring performance will be necessary if the Sooners want to knock off the undefeated Bears.