For the past several weeks Baylor has been tossed around as being perhaps the hottest team in the Big 12 Conference down the stretch. Once Saturday afternoon arrived, you might be hard pressed to find anyone associated with the Oklahoma State football program who would disagree with that assertion.
Oklahoma State struck first to take an early 3-0 lead before Baylor scored 24 unanswered and the Cowboys were unable to complete a comeback, falling 41-34 in Waco for their first loss to the Bears since 2005.
Baylor's 119th ranked defense played better than expected, forcing OSU into two turnovers – on of which was an interception returned for a touchdown to give BU a 10-3 lead – and four punts. OSU's offense experienced success but it was as sustained or reliable as expected.
Clint Chelf struggled, completing 30-of-51 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. He had difficulty finding a rhythm because of the constant pressure from a variety of blitz packages. Joseph Randle ran for 139 yards on six yards per carry but also had difficulties with stringing together multiple positive plays in a row.
It was expected to be OSU's defense that would disrupt Baylor, not the other way around. That's not how things transpired at Floyd Casey Stadium.
And one of the primary reasons for that was sophomore running back Lache Seastrunk. The Baylor running back run past, over and through a typically stout OSU run defense to the tune of 178 yards on 11.1 yards per carry.
And it was Seastrunk's 75-yard touchdown burst in the waning minutes of the game that sealed the Cowboys' fate.
OSU didn't have an answer for Seastrunk, which opened up the passing game for Nick Florence and Baylor's plethora of receivers. Florence finished 23-of-39 passing for 296 yards and a touchdown.
With the victory, the Bears finish the regular season 7-5 after reeling off three straight impressive wins, highlighted by Saturday's upset of No. 23 OSU and their Nov. 1 52-24 shocker against then-No. 1 Kansas State.
For as badly as much of the day went for OSU, the game wasn't decided until the final moments. Chelf connected with redshirt freshman receiver David Glidden on an 18-yard touchdown pass to pull the Pokes within seven with 1:16 remaining in the contest.
But the Bears covered Quinn Sharp's onside kick attempt at the bottom of the pile to preserve the upset and give Baylor a seven victories in three-consecutive seasons for the first time since 1949-51.
OSU falls to 7-5 with the loss, which is the second in a row for the Cowboys after last week's overtime heartbreaker in Bedlam.
Both teams wrapped up the regular season on Saturday and will await news on bowl placement in the coming days.