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NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

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FIRST LOOK: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Get excited and wear gold!

MATCHUP: #16 Baylor Bears (3-1, 1-0) vs. #9 Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0, 0-0)
LOCATION: Waco, Texas
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys 2022
OPPONENT’S SB NATION BLOG: Cowboys Ride for Free (CRFF)*
ODB QUICK HITTER: OSU.
GAMEONPAPER PREVIEW: Baylor vs. OSU.
COLLEGEFOOTBALLDATA.COM TEAM PAGES: Baylor | Oklahoma State
WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: OSU.
GAME NOTES (INCLUDING DEPTH CHART): OSU.
BAYLORBEARS.COM PREVIEW: OSU.
SPREAD: Baylor -2.5 (opened at Baylor -1.5 on Sunday), O/U 56
TV COVERAGE: FOX, 2:30 PM CT
UNIFORM: We don’t know yet, but maybe all gold???

*Note: CRFF announced recently that their blog is being shuttered, and I believe that will happen this week. We wish them the best going forward.

GAMEDAY ATTIRE (FOR FANS): WEAR GOLD.

I don’t know how many different ways we need to say this: please wear gold to the game on Saturday. I could try to shame you (as we’ve done before). I could try to convince you why it’s a really good idea (same). I could threaten you but not very convincingly.

Please just do it. And share this on Twitter to let others know you will.

I will be there, and I will be wearing gold.

WEATHER (IN WACO):

Let’s get to the good stuff. This weekend should be a pretty great day for a football game with temperatures around 85 at kickoff, light winds, and no chance for rain. It also won’t be crazy humid, either, so temperatures (left in the below chart) are right in line with heat indexes (right).

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Baylor is sitting at 3-1, 1-0 in conference after last week’s win over Iowa State in Ames, while Oklahoma State is undefeated after three games and coming off a bye week/off week/whatever you want to call it when a team doesn’t play.

Baylor 2022 Schedule

G Date School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
G Date School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
1 3-Sep-22 (10) Baylor Albany Non-Major 69 10 1 0 W 1
2 10-Sep-22 (9) Baylor (21) BYU Ind 20 26 1 1 L 1
3 17-Sep-22 (17) Baylor Texas State Sun Belt 42 7 2 1 W 1
4 24-Sep-22 (17) Baylor Iowa State Big 12 31 24 3 1 W 2

Oklahoma State 2022 Schedule

G Date School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
G Date School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L Streak
1 1-Sep-22 (12) Oklahoma State Central Michigan MAC 58 44 1 0 W 1
2 10-Sep-22 (11) Oklahoma State Arizona State Pac-12 34 17 2 0 W 2
3 17-Sep-22 (8) Oklahoma State Arkansas-Pine Bluff Non-Major 63 7 3 0 W 3

I did not realize before just now that this will be OK State’s first road game of the season, to a place they’ve lost 4 of their last 5 games (the one exception being the absolutely awful offensive game that ended the Charlie Brewer era at Baylor). OK State’s last win in Waco before that game was 2009.

PLAYERS TO KNOW:

#3 QB Spencer Sanders—Had to start here, right? As goes Spencer Sanders, so goes Oklahoma State. And generally, against Baylor, that hasn’t been very good. In his career, Sanders has 32 interceptions in 36 games played (35 starts). 10 (!!!) of those interceptions were caught by players in green and/or gold, including 7 in two games last season. Put it another way—Sanders has 8 career games with multiple interceptions. Three (3) of those games are against Baylor. He’s never had a game against Baylor where he didn’t throw an interception.

On the other hand, he also has more than 7800 career passing yards, 60 career TDs, and 35 starts to his name. He’s playing in Mike Gundy’s offense, which is typically pretty good. I think it’s safe to say that he should be the betting favorite to be the MVP of this game, but it might be for either team.

#20 RB Dominic Richardson—OSU’s leading rusher so far this year with 43 carries for 215 yards in three games. He also has 8 receptions for 91 yards, a not-insignificant number since Sanders has completed just 62 passes this season (and Gunnar Gundy has completed 12 more).

#8 Braydon Johnson—OSU’s leading receiver with 14 receptions for 300 yards and 3 TDs. You know he has to be good because he’s from Arlington, Texas.

#0 LB Mason Cobb—OSU’s leading tackler with 24, including 6 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. This is Cobb’s first year as a starter for OSU’s defense but has fairly significant experience with 22 career games played.

#89 DE Tyler Lacy—Second on the team in tackles for loss with 5.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. He is the most experienced member of OSU’s defense with 38 career starts, including 34 consecutive. PFF had him ranked as the best defensive player on OSU’s roster last season, according to OSU’s game notes.

INJURY NEWS:

Nothing much out there from OSU, but we do have some stuff from Baylor. Monaray Baldwin and Ben Sims both returned last week and played well with no obvious injuries, so there should be no reason to believe they won’t play again. So did Christian Morgan. According to Aranda in the presser this week, though, Taye McWilliams and Khalil Keith are both out for this game, but Grant Miller will return.

ADVANCED STATS OVERVIEW:

To date Oklahoma State’s story has been fairly typical for them historically but radically different from last season, when they had one of the top defenses in the country. Losing DC Jim Knowles to Ohio State will do that, though. This year Oklahoma State is #14 overall, #18 in offense, and #26 in defense in F+ (which combines FEI and SP+). Baylor, for reference, is #15 overall, #35 in offense, and #16 in defense in F+. These numbers don’t quite jive with GameonPaper.com’s preview, which has the charts below that seem to show Baylor as having an edge on both sides of the ball (but, it should be noted, are not opponent adjusted):

What I find most interesting about the numbers from GameonPaper is how poor Oklahoma State’s rushing offense seems to have fared so far this season. On that side, their EPA/play is #104 in the country, and their success rate of 37.7% is #94. That’s a big problem against Baylor’s defense, which has been extremely good against the run, because it sets up a big problem for Oklahoma State: Spencer Sanders may have to win them the game. The only thing I can think of to explain the difference between the F+ constituent rankings and something like GameonPaper is the continued impact of preseason projections, which have started to fall out but aren’t gone completely.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING / OTHER NEWS:

I’d jump on that if I needed a ticket.

Basically, Baylor is good at home.

FIVE QUESTIONS (for you, the Baylor fan):

  1. I think we should wear all gold in this game (last done against Iowa State last year). Do you agree?
  2. Who leads the Bears in receiving this week and how many yards do they have?
  3. What are you most looking to see from the team against Oklahoma State after last week’s game?
  4. What are you most afraid of from this Oklahoma State team?
  5. What percentage of Baylor fans do you think will get the message and wear gold on Saturday?

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