Baylor’s impressive offensive performance in the second half couldn’t overwhelm their many defensive problems. Oklahoma beat Baylor 66-33. Baylor is now 3-2 and will take on Kansas State at 2:30 on Saturday.
Baylor fell behind 14-0 early. The Bears stopped Oklahoma on their first drive, but Chris Platt fumbled a punt return. Oklahoma took over at the Baylor nine and quickly scored a touchdown.
Kyler Murray was simply too good today. He missed the first series after being late for practice. That was about the only time Baylor could slow Oklahoma down. Murray started 11-of-11 and averaged 23 yards per pass through three quarters. He had seven touchdowns.
Baylor narrowed the gap to 35-23 and had Oklahoma at 3rd and 12. Murray scrambled for a giant gain and the Sooners scored not long after. They scored again. Baylor trailed 49-23 to start the fourth quarter, and if there was any doubt Baylor had a chance, it was gone by then.
Baylor’s defense was eviscerated by Oklahoma all day. The Sooners had five scores of greater than 20 yards. Oklahoma averaged 12 yards per play in route to reaching 63 points. Chris Miller had a very rough day, including a play where he blocked an Oklahoma player instead of going for a ball carrier. On another occasion, he missed a tackle and OU had another one of their long touchdowns. The Bears tried to blitz. They tried to drop back in coverage. Nothing worked. They were out of position. They couldn’t tackle. That unit has to get much better at basic things.
The Bears had some early trouble with penalties and bizarre coaching decisions. Baylor had four penalties for 40 yards in the first quarter. The Bear’s linemen couldn’t stop holding. Matt Rhule elected to punt on 4th and 2 at midfield. Unsurprisingly with an incredible offense playing a bad defense, Oklahoma scored a touchdown a few plays later. To the chagrin of many fans, Rhule rotated quarterbacks in the second quarter. Jalan McClendon played okay. But Brewer seems to be the guy, and that was just a weird decision to switch QBs.
Charlie Brewer to Denzel Mims for the people: pic.twitter.com/vT82PGh2tl— Kendall (@kendallkaut) September 29, 2018
Baylor had some bright moments today. JaMycal Hasty was a force on the ground and in the passing game. Denzel Mims had a few nice grabs. The field goal team ran on the field and got a kick off just as time expired to end the half. Jalen Hurd ran well in short yardage situations and nabbed a touchdown on a carry to the right.
The lesson of today is that Oklahoma has a better football team than Baylor. That’s okay. Baylor, in year two under Rhule, doesn’t need to beat Oklahoma to achieve the reasonable and expected goal of making a bowl game. The offense showed enough signs to think it’s possible this team can find three more wins in the Big 12. The defense looked fairly terrible. But Oklahoma can do that against good defenses, which to be clear, this defense is not.
Baylor’s season won’t be defined by a game like this. Next week is the game the Bears have to win. Kansas State isn’t that good. The Bears can live with losing this one. They have almost no shot to go bowling with a loss next week.