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SIC'D: Baylor Defense Suffocates Oklahoma In Dominating Win

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WACO, Texas -

For the first 23 minutes Thursday night, it appeared a baseball game had broken out at Floyd Casey Stadium. Then the Baylor offense woke up, if only for a short time.

The Bears scored 21 points in the final seven minutes of the first half, an onslaught No. 10 Oklahoma couldn't recover from. No. 6 Baylor ran their record to 8-0 with a 41-12 win over the Sooners in front of 50,537 fans, the fourth-largest crowd in Baylor history.

Coming into the game, much of the focus was on Baylor's explosive offense, which came into Thursday night averaging over 700 yards per game and had scored 70 points or more in four games. However, the Bears lost top receiver Tevin Reese (dislocated wrist), and its top two running backs—Lache Seastrunk (leg injury) and Glasco Martin (leg injury)—in the first half to injury. Seastrunk would later return, but it wouldn't matter.

The Baylor defense dominated the Sooners all night, preventing quarterback Blake Bell from establishing any kind of rhythm in the passing game and completely shutting down the OU rushing attack. The Bears had been dominant on defense coming into the game, but hadn't faced an opponent the caliber of Oklahoma yet this season.

Baylor showed the country they're for real on defense, holding the Sooners to just 237 total yards and 87 on the ground. The Sooners also converted just 4-of-17 third downs.

In addition to that, Baylor third-string running back Shock Linwood had no trouble filling in for Seastrunk and Martin, racking up 182 yards on 23 carries. On the flip side, the Sooners were terrible on the ground—Roy Finch led the Sooners with 36 yards on seven carries. Bell looked more like the Blake Bell from the Texas game than the Bell that looked calm and collected against Notre Dame and Texas Tech. Bell finished 15-of-35 for 150 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

It was a strange first quarter and a half, as the Oklahoma defense did everything possible to give the Sooners a chance to take an early lead. They pressured Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and limited Seastrunk and the Baylor run game. Petty finished the game just 13-of-26 for 204 yards, but threw three touchdowns and ran for two more.

With 8:16 remaining in the second quarter, the Sooners led, 5-3, courtesy of a safety sack by Dominique Alexander and a Michael Hunnicutt field goal. Penalties ruled, particularly on a play in the first quarter where Baylor cornerback KJ Morton was called for targeting Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Baylor's Ahmad Dixon was then called for two personal foul penalties, but Morton's targeting penalty was overturned and was allowed to remain in the game. Shepard did not return.

The Sooners had first and goal at the Baylor 7-yard line, but the Bears stuffed the Sooners on four straight plays to get the turnover on downs.

A touchdown finally appeared halfway through the second quarter when Baylor drove 69 yards in five plays, aided by a roughing the passer penalty on linebacker Eric Striker. The drive took 1:14 and Petty carried the final five yards for the go-ahead touchdown.

Baylor added another score on their next possession with a methodical 93-yard drive with Petty once again scoring on the ground from a yard out. On Oklahoma's next play, Bell was intercepted by Eddie Lackey, and Baylor cashed in quickly, scoring with less than 20 seconds in the half to go up 24-5.

Things didn't get any better offensively for the Sooners in the second half. The Baylor defense forced two three-and-outs to start the half, and on the Bears' second offensive possession, Petty found Levi Norwood wide open in the end zone for a 17-yard strike that officially turned the game into a rout.

Bell hit Roy Finch on a fourth down swing pass with 3:20 remaining in the third that made the score 31-12, but it was too little, too late.

The game was sluggish throughout, and marred by penalties. The two teams combined for 25 penalties for 216 yards.

The Sooners' offense looked so promising a week ago against Texas Tech, but regressed tremendously against the Bears. If Oklahoma doesn't get things corrected, Thursday will be far from the last loss for Oklahoma this year.

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