If you came out of this game thinking that it was simultaneously one of the worst offensive performances and best defensive performances that you can remember, guess what, you’re right! Starting with the positive—Baylor held Oklahoma to 27 points tonight, breaking their 60-game streak of scoring 28+ points. The last time they scored fewer than 28 points was their loss to Ohio State in September 2016 during Stoops’ last year. Stated differently, no team has ever held a Lincoln Riley-coached Oklahoma team to fewer points than Baylor did tonight. Along the same lines, OU finished with 269 yards on 59 offensive plays for an average of 4.56 yards/play. Not only is that OU’s worst performance this season, in the entire Lincoln Riley era of 2017 to the present, there are only two comparable performances (2020 Texas, 4.8 yards/play, and 2019 LSU, 5.2, also against Dave Aranda). In fact 269 yards is the lowest offensive output for Oklahoma since a 24-17 loss to Texas in 2015 (where they averaged 4.3 yards/play), and in Riley’s entire tenure as head coach, the Sooners had never had less than 322 (2019 LSU) in a game and less than 400 only twice (the second being that hilarious game in 2018 where Army just wouldn’t give them the ball). This was an incredible, unprecedented defensive performance by Dave Aranda’s group tonight. Baylor actually outgained Oklahoma!
Unfortunately, until Baylor got the ball back with 5 minutes to go in the game after OU went up 27-7, the Bears were averaging just 3.1 yards/play, our worst offensive performance since Rhule got here in 2017. After the game was well out of reach and we started moving the ball more effectively, that number increased such that we finished at 296 yards on 81 offensive plays for a still-awful 3.65 yards/play. That makes it just the third-worst performance of the last four seasons behind 2017 Texas and West Virginia earlier this same year. Brewer finished 30-56 for 263 yards and 1 TD passing with 2 INTs. The rushing offense was, considering we were down all of our scholarship RBs by the time the game ended, predictably awful, with just 25 rushing yards on 26 carries. That’s obviously less than a yard/carry.
Baylor is now 2-6 on the season with just one game remaining against Oklahoma State, who lost today to take themselves out of Big 12 title contention. But if I’m being honest, despite the horrific performance of the offense, I’m more excited by this loss than last week’s win. If that seems weird because we beat a team last week (KSU) that beat the team we lost to today (OU), just throw that game out for this purpose. What excites me is that I’d rather have one side of the ball playing well than neither, and I’ll take an elite performance on defense against OU as a sign of potential things to come over a mediocre performance overall against a bad KSU team. If nothing else you came into this season thinking Dave Aranda and Ron Roberts know how to scheme a defense and use the talent they have on that side. If tonight’s game is prologue, that is clearly true.
Now we just need to get the offense figured out, and I’m not even going to go there in any real depth because you all know what I think and why, and I don’t want to ruin any good vibes we might have after this game. Baylor was a 22-point underdog coming in against an Oklahoma team that had a lot to play for, and not only did we cover that spread, we made Oklahoma look pretty bad in doing so. When you’re 2-5 staring down the barrel of 2-7, I’ll take that.