If I had to pick a football stadium in Oklahoma that has been a ‘House of Horrors’ for our Bears; that stadium would be located in Stillwater, rather than in Norman. It has been in Stillwater, Oklahoma where Baylor has endured some truly embarrassing losses ( ‘10,’11,’13,’17), not in Norman, Oklahoma. And if there is a road game in Oklahoma where I am deep down waiting for an onslaught to hit us, it’s when we play in Stillwater, Oklahoma not in Norman. Despite OUs dominance of the conference the past decade, Baylor has played surprisingly well on the road against the Sooners.
In 2012 Baylor had lost 4 out of the last 5 games and was going through arguably the worst defensive stretch in the Briles era when we traveled to face No. 12 Oklahoma. Although the Bears lost the game 42-34, they competed well on the road and played extremely confident. The very next weekend a 4-win Baylor team blew out the No. 1 team in the nation, and I still believe the confidence of playing well on the road a week prior helped lead to that upset victory. Two years later the 2014 game speaks for itself. Baylor dominated Oklahoma on both sides of the ball, and I believe at the time that was the worst loss that OU had suffered at home. Even in 2016 when the score was not as close because of 3 Baylor turnovers, the offense was still able to put up over 500 yards.
Obviously, none of those prior games have any bearing on Saturday’s outcome. It was an entirely different coaching regime with different players, but the point is that it’s not unique for a Baylor team to go toe to toe with OU in Norman. I think most programs have that road game where the fanbase has their stomach in knots because of past history. We know Texas probably feels that way about the “Little Apple”, and I feel that way too when we play on the road in Oklahoma, but its not when we play in Norman, Oklahoma.
For Baylor to win, on offense I believe our team will have to do everything it can to keep the Sooner defense on their toes; end arounds to Platt, quick hitters to Hurd & Mims, designed QB runs, screens, and roll out passes. On defense I think it’s pretty simple, they’ll need to limit the big plays by keeping everything in front. Death by 1000 cuts is a frustrating way to watch a football game, but I truly believe it is the way to go in this instance. Force Murray to throw underneath the whole game and get the game into the 4th quarter where anything can happen.
Baylor may or may not win but, I do expect them to compete the whole game, much like in 2012. And like in 2012, maybe history will repeat itself where we can look back on it as a catalyst for our Bears the rest of the season. We do play Kansas State the following week.