OU’s secondary vs. Baylor’s receivers: It’s easy to think this is OU cornerbacks Aaron Colvin and Zack Sanchez versus Baylor’s Antwan Goodley and Tevin Reese. However, the Bears move Goodley and Reese around in formations to get them matched up on safeties and linebackers. All will have their opportunities to cover them and the Sooners have to win more of those battles than they lose. The issue Goodley and Reese present is both are big play receivers, averaging over 23.5 yards per catch. OU cannot let them get behind its secondary.
OU’s offensive line vs. Baylor’s defensive front seven and safeties: The Sooners have to run the ball and they must do it against eight- and sometimes nine-man fronts. Their entire game-plan centers around being able to control the clock and keep it running by picking up first downs without having to throw the ball. OU hasn’t had a problem doing this. It’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry. But this is a game where OU has to dominate time of possession and put together long scoring drives. That won’t happen if OU has negative running plays, holding penalties or anything that gets it off track. OU’s offensive line must play well in order to win.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty vs. OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops: One of the main benefits of the up-tempo offense is it forces defenses to be generic and sacrifice confusing the quarterback in the name of simply getting lined up before the ball is snapped. OU will be in trouble if it can’t put Petty in some situations where he really has to think about where to throw the ball. Stoops wants to offer multiple coverages and blitz from multiple angles. If Petty is seeing the wrong things, he could struggle. If OU cannot do anything to knock him out of rhythm it could be a long night.
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