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NCAA Football: Baylor at Oklahoma Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough fought game in Norman, the Baylor Bears are officially bowl eligible, knocking off the Oklahoma Sooners 38-35. It’s Baylor’s third win a row, their longest streak of the season, and their second win against Oklahoma in as many years, something the Bears hadn’t done since 2013/2014. Baylor is now 6-3, while Oklahoma falls to 5-4 on the season.

If we were handing out an MVP award for this game, it would go to six people: the offensive line and Sqwirl Williams. The Junior RB had the game of his career, going off for 192 yards and 2 TDs on 25 carries, an average of 7.7 yards per carry. He’d have had even more if not for his selfless play at the end of the game, where he could have walked into the endzone but chose to down himself to allow Baylor to end the game. It’s the kind of play that isn’t surprising from a player under the coaching of Dave Aranda. Qualan Jones also had a very nice day carrying the football, grabbing 47 yards and a TD on 9 attempts. Jones had some very tough earned yards near the end of the contest that proved vital to Baylor’s success on the day.

Blake Shapen managed the game, but he wasn’t asked to win it. The passing game was only around to take some pressure of the running game. Shapen had 132 yards and an interception on 14/23 passing. The standout on the day in the passing game was Freshman Josh Cameron. He snagged 5 catches for 72 yards. Four of his five receptions went for a first down. Hal Presley had 4 catches for 34 yards. No other WRs had a catch in this game, as every other reception went to a RB or TE, but neither of those groups had much production. Everything today was about the run game.

Oklahoma had a solid offensive day, as well, though not enough to overcome the Bears. Dillon Gabriel threw for 261 yards and 2 TDs, but the Baylor defense forced him into 3 interceptions. That’s now 8 interceptions over the last two games for the Bears. Gabriel consistently relied on RB Eric Gray as he was the leading receiver for the Sooners. Gray also carried the workload in the running game. He finished the day with 164 all-purpose yards and 2 TDs. Oklahoma star receiver Marvin Mims Jr. found the endzone as well, scoring on a 63 yard strike from Gabriel. Mims finished the day with 4 receptions and 120 yards to go along with his TD.

On the surface, Oklahoma really did not play poorly in this game. In fact, they led in total yards, first downs, third down conversions, total plays, total yards per play, and even beat out Baylor in tackles for loss at 8 to 2. But, turnovers mean everything, and the Sooners handed the ball over to the Bears 3 times, plus a failed 4th down conversion. Baylor was 3 for 3 on 4th downs, had more rushing yards, and once again won the time of possession game. Baylor is finding it’s identity, and they know they don’t need to lead in every category to win. The only category that matters is points. Today, they had 3 more than the Sooners could get in Norman. After 2 tough bouts on the road, the Bears head home for back to back games against the two best teams in the conference.