Boone Stadium will see yet another 3:30pm kickoff this Saturday, as Oklahoma State takes on the Baylor Bears in what I’m calling, “The tale of two seasons” game.
By the Numbers
Oklahoma State Baylor
Points per Game: 46.8 27.2
Points allowed per Game: 26.0 36.2
Total Yards of Offense per game: 583.4 404.8
It’s easy to see that the Oklahoma State offense has been clicking on a higher level than most teams this season with their video game like numbers. In fact, only one other team has better total offensive numbers, and that is rival Oklahoma. Mason Rudolph is a top candidate for the prestigious Heisman Trophy this year for the Cowboys with 21 total touchdowns. The OK State big play offense can strike from any yard marker on the field. This quick strike mentality means they are never out of a ball game.
The Baylor Bears do not look so impressive when you look at them only on paper. They are allowing nine more points per game then they are scoring. This is an obvious attributor to the 0-5 start to their season. However, if you’ve watched their game against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Bears may have impressed you. They were able to put up 41 points on the Sooners and almost walked away with a monumental upset. However, they were brought back to reality by the Kansas State defense last week, only managing to put up 20 points.
Baylor’s list of injuries goes on and on. It seems as though every week Coach Matt Rhule is adding another player to the season-ending injury list. The one that hurts the most though, is junior Chris Pratt. Pratt was the veteran wideout for the Bears and going into the Oklahoma game, was by far the most productive, averaging an astonishing 25 yards per reception and five touchdowns already on the season. You just can’t replace production like that. Denzel Mims torched Oklahoma for 11 grabs, 192 yards, and three touchdowns, so he is the obvious fill in.
Oklahoma State has managed to avoid the big injury bug this season and are as healthy as they were day one of training camp.
Oklahoma State doesn’t have a single true freshman starting for their program this season. In fact, the Cowboys only have two redshirt freshmen starting. Right guard Teven Jenkins beat out a RS sophomore to win the starting position in the offseason. Likewise, RS freshman Rodarius Williams beat out a fifth year Senior to earn his starting position.
Baylor has started a whopping 21 first time starters throughout their five games thus far. Out of that 21, eight of those starters were true freshmen. It’s safe to say that Baylor is a young team, relying on young talent to change the culture of Baylor football.
The youth of the Baylor Bears, or Cubs should I say, can be attributed to the wake of the sexual assault scandal that led to the firing of Art Briles. When everything went down, only one person remained committed to the Bears for this season. A signing class of only one recruit could hurt a program for several years.
It’s no secret who the projected winner is in this one. Oklahoma State should be able to expose the young Baylor defense for big yards. I’d look for the Cowboys to put up over 500 yards of total offense and 45+ points. This one won’t be a route though. The Bears can make some noise against a lackluster State defense. My prediction is that the tale of two seasons will continue down the same path. I’ve got the 14th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys notching another win in shoot-out fashion 49-31.
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