Pressing Questions: Oklahoma Vs. Baylor

Saturday Oklahoma will take to the field against for what is usually perceived as the weakest conference match-up of the year. How will the OU defense react with out Auston English, and do the Sooners have enough to firepower to wax Baylor by more than the 38 points that the Vegas pundits predict?

Will Jeremy Beal and Alan Davis get it done up front filling in for English?

What Auston English has been able to do this year is special. Before being forced to miss this game he had racked up 34 tackles and a league leading 9.5 sacks, so Davis and Beal will have some big shoes to fill.

While neither player will make an impact in the same way that English does it will most likely not make too much of a difference in the end result of this game. The OU defensive backs have been playing better and better with each passing week, and their skills should hold up the Baylor QB Blake Szymanski long enough for the line to get some pressure.

I would expect the defense to try some different things and show some different looks to give the Texas Tech coaching staff something to think about throughout the next week.

Will the team be motivated to take on this Baylor squad?

At this point in the season it would be hard not to be motivated. This team needs to win and win big. Currently there are three teams in front of OU in the BCS Championship Game race. While it feasible to think that OU will jump Kansas at some point they are going to need some help somewhere along the line to leapfrog Oregon or LSU.


Reggie Smith(Photo by Randy Martinez/Getty Images)
So from here on out… The bigger the wins the better. Baylor is a squad in the midst of a downward spiral, and if this OU team is seeking to show what they are all about, then this is the perfect setting.

"We can't overlook anyone," OU cornerback Reggie Smith informed. "Every game is the most important game now. We have to make sure we win out, we can't lose any more games."

Has Oklahoma already turned the page to Texas Tech?

They know that they can not afford to overlook anyone in this conference, but does anybody on the squad really believe that Baylor has what it takes to come in to Norman and pull out a win? Probably not.

The schedule has seemed to work out perfectly in some instances this season. When Ryan Reynolds and others were banged up they had an off week. When English goes down they get Baylor.

The Baylor offensive look will give the team a chance to get adjusted to defending the spread offense, a huge plus heading in to next week's game with Tech. Combine all that together and the coaching staff has a huge opportunity to basically work on defending Tech for two weeks in practice.

"Our guys are very aware we have to go out and play," Stoops said in his press conference. "We are focusing on us, as a team, and playing as well as we can play and what are the areas of emphasis and where we can play better this week. That is what you try to do in practice and that is the attitude we are trying to take."

The team and coaches know that the focus is on Baylor, but it is hard not to think that there is a strong possibility that mind frame will change by halftime.

Will Oklahoma cover -38 point spread

It is easy to think that they should cover the spread this weekend. Lets face it Baylor is at the bottom of the barrel right now as far as college football is concerned. It seemed like they had a good coach that would implement an offensive system that would cause some problems scheme wise, but now that Guy Morriss and his system are on the way out it would seem hard to believe in that system when they take the field Saturday.

Despite the fact that OU has something to prove by demolishing Baylor and Baylor is probably ready to pack it in as the coaching search gets under way the facts say that OU would have a good chance to hit this number anyway.

Baylor is not going to be able to run the ball on OU at all, and quite frankly throughout the course of a game they do not have the talent on offense to beat OU in too many one-on-one situations. OU should have little trouble in shutting Baylor down.

The Baylor defense gives up well over 400 yards a game and is at the bottom of the pile in the Big 12 in rush and pass defense. That could spell trouble as the Sooners are loaded with big time playmakers.

The Sooners are 16-0 all-time against Baylor and 9-0 when playing in Norman.

Prediction: Oklahoma 52, Baylor 3

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