Chris Johnson's incredible heroics aside for a moment, Baylor had 304 rushing yards tonight. Oklahoma State had 8. That, combined with Baylor's six sacks of Mason Rudolph, was the difference in this game, which saw Jarrett Stidham start and play well before giving way to Johnson at halftime.
Speaking of Johnson-- he was amazing. In his first game action as a QB since the 2014 Buffalo game (September 9, 2014, in case you were wondering), Johnson came off the bench to throw for 2 TDs and run for another against an OSU defense that had been one of the best in the conference. Baylor as a whole put up 707 yards of total offense, 310 of which came on the ground, and had 32 first downs.
On the other side, the Bears defense turned in easily its best performance of the year, holding the Cowboys to just 440 yards on 73 plays. The big stat there is that just 10 of OSU's yards came on the ground due to the fact that Andrew Billings and the Baylor DL absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage for four full quarters.
From the beginning, Baylor played exactly the game it needed to in order to have a chance to break the curse in Stillwater. We jumped out to a 14-point lead almost from the get-go, and after OSU rebounded to tie it up there, they never got within 7 points again. During the most important stretch of the game-- the middle-- where last week things fell apart for the Bears offensively, the defense forced 7 consecutive OSU punts and got the ball back to the offense on 9 of 10 possessions. That's when Baylor ran their lead out to 38-14 and then managed to hold on for a 10-point win that was much more impressive than even that score seems.
My players of the game are easy. For the offense, it's Chris Johnson considering the circumstances and his performance. For the defense, it's Andrew Billings, who had at least 2 sacks and probably 4 or 4.5 tackles for loss. You could also make a strong argument for Xavien Howard, who played extremely well on the outside against James Washington and Jhaquan Seales. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention K.D. Cannon, too, for his 5 catches for 210 yards and 2 TDs.
After the disappointment of last week, this game was absolutely incredible to watch from start to finish. We've said for years that the Art Briles Era is all about making history, and the Bears were able to do that tonight with their first win in Stillwater since FDR's second term. We won't know yet what this means, if anything, for the Big 12 Championship or the College Football Playoff aside from that we're still alive for both. We'll need OU to lose next week in probably either circumstance, but that's next week.
For now, get ready for what should be a pretty epic Tweets post later tonight!
|3rd down efficiency
|4th down efficiency
|Yards per pass
|Yards per rush