Originally Published: Nov 15, 2010 12:47 AM CDT
Deans Crystal Match-up for OU vs. Baylor
Baylors Robert Griffin is a fabulous athlete. Hes a dangerous/duel threat, although his coaches are careful on how much they let him run the ball--and thats not helping his mental makeup. He missed last season with an ACL knee injury but thats not affected his running. Jones was awesome last night, and if the game were in Norman, hed get the edge. But its not. Essentially that means if he wins, OU wins.
Art Briles is one of my favorite coaches. He’s a perfect fit for Baylor although if they win out he might get a much bigger job offer. He recruits well and just by having the Bears good enough to only be a seven point underdog to OU says a ton. Bob Stoops and his staff did a terrific job of getting their team to buy in last week, bounce back, play well and implement new wrinkles with a great deal of success.
Baylor gets the edge for the one reason that everyone around these parts knows aboutOU is on the road. The fourth-quarter loss to A/M will take a lot of the energy out of an OU game that would have been the biggest game in the program had they won that game. OU must win and will be coached-up. But the road game bugaboo remains until further notice.
Special teams: Push
The return of Ronnell Lewis single-handedly eliminates most of the kickoff cover concerns. OU’s only other issue is field goal kicking beyond 35 yards and although Stevens missed a short one vs. TT it was a poor snap that messed up the timing. The punt matchup is dead even. Baylor’s reliable Aaron Jones had a bad game in the A/M loss missing an extra point and FGAs of 27 and 39 yards.
OU is second in the Big 12 in pass defense efficiency. Baylor is 10 in efficiency and dead last in overall pass defense. They showed why with a poor second half performance in last week’s all-important game against A/M. OU corner Jamell Fleming, true frosh nickel back Tony Jefferson and FS Q Carter continue to impress but will have their hands full against a potent BU attack. Better linebacker pass coverage would help.
Run game: Baylor
OU got better with new wrinkles and with putting Roy Finch on the field moreboth as a featured runner and in the slot when he and DeMarco Murray were on the field at the same time. Mossis Madu is an underrated stud who may get his chance if Murray’s injured ribs keep him out of the lineup. Jay Finley ran for 3TDs and 169 yds vs A/M and the Bears run for 200 yards a game as the Sooners run for 118 per.
Offensive line: Baylor
Gotta go with the numbers. OU is hit and miss up front, but they were outstanding in the TT win--both protection and run blocking. While they are great with their feet and with finesse blocking, they haven’t lined up against tough DLs and knocked the best teams off the ball. Baylor is first in total offense, second in rushing and fourth in passing. Their O-line plays a major role in their success.
Defensive Line: OU
Jeremy Beal had another stellar game vs TT. He’s not getting much help from the other side but coaches hope Ronnell Lewis’ athleticism off the edge will help in the final two games. Injury in TT game ends the career of DL Adrian Taylor, whose inspiration and leadership are remarkable. OU is 2nd in total and rush defense while BU is 10th and 7th respectively.
Will LB Travis Lewis was especially good vs TT and Austen Box played well as he got his first start ahead of Tom Wort in the middle (they shared time). Box is being called upon because he’s a veteran who understands the system much more than the more athletic true freshman. This position must get better for OU to win in both Waco and Stillwater. Senior Byron Lander leads BU with an average of 10.8 tackles per.
Wide receiver: OU
Ryan Broyles’ assault on the record book saw him set or tie five more OU receiving records vs TT. The 5-11 junior is doing this despite playing on two tender ankles that restrict him and hurt enough that he basically sits out workouts on Thursdays. Stills is high-quality and leads the remainder of a group of nine players who caught passes in the TT win. But BU is quite impressiveWright: 42 rec, 90 yds/game, Gordon a 21 yard average per reception and 75 yards per. OU throws for only ten more yards per game than Griffin III.