Oklahoma State Football: Three Keys Against Baylor


The Oklahoma State football team has what is arguably their biggest game ever this evening (which will be progressively one-upped if they keep winning from here on out.) Baylor is in town, and although they were exposed last week in their loss to OU, they are still a great team. Regardless, the Cowboys have a great chance to win this game and keep the dream season going. Taking care of these three things will certainly help their chances.

1. Get to Stidham early

Stidham had a pretty good debut against Kansas State a few weeks ago, throwing for over 400 yards and no interceptions. Still, the Baylor attack wasn’t what it was with Seth Russell behind center, scoring just 31 points against the Wildcats. Last week against OU, Stidham had success early, but made some crucial mistakes that led to two interceptions, costing the Bears the game. He looked rattled more and more as the game wore on, and also sustained an injury to his back, which led to his status being up in the air for the game until late in the week.

We all know how good the Cowboys’ front seven is. If they can get some hits on Stidham early, whether it’s sacks or quarterback hurries, they could go a long way in shaking his confidence early, especially with a wild crowd letting him have it in the cold air. He’s a freshman with a sore back who is playing in front of the craziest crowd he’ll face all year. The Cowboys have to take advantage of it. Get some hits on him early, and set the tone for the rest of the game. He knows what’s coming, (re: Emmanuel Ogbah,) so make his worst fears come true.

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2. Somehow, some way, be effective in the run game without over-committing. 

It’s not like Baylor is terrible offensively suddenly with Stidham playing in place of Russell. Yes, they haven’t been as explosive the past two games, but they are still Baylor. Stidham’s deep ball capabilities make them capable of scoring at any moment. The Cowboys defense is good, but keeping the Bears off the field as much as possible not only limits their chances, but gives the defense time to rest. The Cowboys have vastly improved offensively as the season has worn on, with the running game showing steady improvement over the last several games. There was even a Chris Carson sighting last week. If they can run the ball even somewhat well, not only will the passing game open up, but the clock will keep running as well. Basic stuff I know, but it is what it is. I don’t care if Baylor is playing a backup quarterback — you don’t want to get into a shootout with them. And hey, running the ball impresses the College Football Playoff Committee or something…right?

3. Avoid an early deficit.

Again, this one is obvious, but SERIOUSLY. How many comebacks can one team have in a season? There have already been two 17-point road deficits overcome by the Cardiac Cowboys, not to mention the Kansas State game at home. Let’s not push it any more. Take care of the ball, avoid stupid passing decisions, tackle well, the usual — and all crucial. Oklahoma State has been a second half team all season. Make it to halftime with a lead or a close score, let Glenn Spencer do Glenn Spencer things in the second half, and the rest should work itself out. We have every reason to believe so at this point.