Despite outscoring the Sooners in the second half and racking up 252 yards rushing, Baylor dropped to 4-5 on the season with three more chances to get two wins.
- Did you know that for the third time in the last four games, Baylor outscored its opponent in the second half? The only time where we failed to do so was against Iowa State. We lost three of those four games, as well. Not only did we outscore Oklahoma 17-14, we also outgained them in total yards in the second half 243-164. If we hadn't allowed that awful touchdown to end the first half, I honestly believe we would have won this game. Going into halftime down 28-17 instead of 21-17 with the chance to take the lead coming back out put us in a hole from which we never climbed. This is a constant problem on the season in that we are consistently playing from behind. In three of our five losses, we've gotten down by two scores at some point in the game, rallied back, and haven't gotten the stop we needed to have a chance. We've lost all three games-- West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma-- by one score.
- Nick Florence was as bad on Saturday as we've seen since his freshman year, and it cost us dearly. Yes, some of it is due to the 30 mph winds he faced throughout the game, but you didn't see Landry Jones having the same issues, did you? This is the first game where I felt like we suffered not only from poor decision-making at the QB spot but poor arm strength, too. Florence didn't know where the ball was going half the time, so he ended up short-arming some throws and overthrowing others. He had the opportunities we needed; at least three different passes on the mark would have ended up in touchdowns, but he didn't make it work. He finished the game 12/33 for 172 yards and no scores.
- Florence's poor day through the air allowed our rushing game to continue its positive trend, and Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin made the most of their opportunity. Seastrunk scored 3 touchdowns on his 15 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per carry for the game. That gave him 91 rushing yards, second on the team only to Florence's 94. Glasco added 60 yards on 17 carries. On the whole, the thunder (Glasco) and lightning (Seastrunk) combo worked wonders for Baylor's rushing offense, and the Sooners couldn't stop them. If we can keep that trend going in the next three games, our chances will be much better.
- I was disappointed that Terrance Williams (Terrence Williams) didn't get to continue his hot streak of late and fell further off the 2000-yard receiving pace he had earlier in the season. He had only 6 catches for 91 yards but should have had much more. He was the biggest loser from Florence's inconsistency.
- The offensive line seems to have switched completely from earlier in the season when it couldn't block at all in the running game but excelled in the pass. They gave up 3 sacks to Oklahoma after only 2 in the previous 3 games, and the Sooners had chances for at least 2 more and didn't convert.
- I say this every week, but I'm getting seriously tired of Baylor's defensive scheme on third and long. I don't understand the idea of dropping 8 into a soft zone coverage, only rushing 3, and expecting good things to happen. We're not the kind of team that can pull that off on the back end because we get absolutely zero pressure through our down linemen. Any QB worth his salt can pick that zone apart, and most do. The worst part is that it's been proven not to work repeatedly, yet we keep doing it. It makes no sense.
- Bryce Hager was a bright spot for the defense after only coming in following the injury to Rodney Chadwick. Hager had a team and career-high 16 tackles, including one for loss, and a sack in the waning moments that gave us the ball back before our final drive. Hager was everywhere for our defense, even if he does have quite a few issues in pass coverage. I wish we could see what he can do without an offensive lineman in his lap every play.
- I said during the game on twitter that I expect to see at least 8 new starters at this point next year. I stand by that. I think we'll have four entirely new starters across the defensive line, with Javonte Magee and Shawn Oakman at the ends and either two JUCOs or one and Andrew Billings inside. Yes, Billings would be a true freshman. Yes, he has that kind of ability. Brian Nance is another that could come on campus and start immediately, possibly at MLB. That would allow Hager to shift outside to OLB, where his speed would be better-suited, anyway. My hope is that we could start Eddie Lackey, Prince Kent, or possibly a 2013 recruit at the NB position so Ahmad Dixon can go back to safety. Put Terrell Burt next to him in place of Mike Hicks, and Xavien Howard and someone else I can't think of at the moment at the corners. That's basically an entirely new defense save Dixon and Hager in a situation that screams for one.
- We've got to figure something out to stop the Blake Bell-esque runs, or else Kansas State is going to absolutely murder us on the ground with Collin Klein. On Bell's long run, we actually had things set up pretty well in the backfield before Prince Kent was blocked out of the play. If he slips that block, we probably bottle it up completely. Keeping the same thing from happening against KSU will be critical, and it should be our highest priority this week in practice.
- Our second-highest should be kickoff returns, but I know it won't be. Art Briles doesn't care about special teams and isn't likely to change any time soon. That's too bad, though, because I trace the most inexplicable portion of our loss Saturday to kickoff coverage. When we allowed the long return just before the half that put Oklahoma in a position to not just run out the clock, they predictably scored two plays later and we never recouped that loss. It's disheartening for an offense to see after a 6 minute textbook drive, and it puts our defense in an even harder spot than they put themselves. I don't get it.
- I bag on him quite a bit, so I should highlight him when he does well. Mike Hicks' interception was a gorgeous play on the ball and one of the best for our defense overall. It's not Hicks' fault that Sam Holl is such a disaster next to him in our defensive backfield.
Tevin Reese needs to work on catching the ball in his body. I'm tired of seeing him blow easy receptions.
- Mad props to Aaron Jones for his 58-yard field goal. I still question the decision because I didn't think he had a snowman's chance in Hell of making it, but he did. And don't respond that the result makes the decision worth it because that's dumb. You judge decisions based on the process, not the result. Judging the process lets you know whether you do the same thing again or change to learn from your mistakes.
- Overall, I was actually pretty happy with the way things turned out. We went to Norman as 21.5-point underdogs and lost by 8. I don't believe in moral victories, obviously, but we've rarely played well there and could have easily folded. The part I've been most impressed with about this team consistently is that we've only been truly "beaten," as in beaten down, in one game. We've lost five games, that's true, but our team hasn't given up and has actually mounted several impressive comebacks against solid teams.