No. 8 Oklahoma travels to No. 13 Baylor for a showdown that carries conference title implications in the Big 12 as well as College Football Playoff ramifications. The Sooners, the lone remaining unbeaten Big 12 team, were off in Week 10 after crushing Texas Tech 52-21 behind a 402-yard, 6-touchdown day from freshman quarterback Caleb Williams.
Baylor remains in the thick of the Big 12 title game race, but suffered a major setback after losing 30-28 against rival TCU in a trap game. The Bears defense showed its first cracks of the season, allowing backup Horned Frogs QB Chandler Morris to throw for 461 yards and run for 70 more. Baylor QB Gerry Bohanon threw for three touchdowns while running back Abram Smith rushed for 125 yards.
Oklahoma has dominated Baylor historically, holding a 28-3 advantage and winning the last seven meetings. Conversely, all three Baylor wins came between 2011 and 2014. Oklahoma won an ugly 27-14 decision in 2020 behind 193 yards passing and 2 touchdowns from then-starting quarterback Spencer Rattler.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor: Need to know
Quarterback switch: Oklahoma got off to a slow start before ultimately benching Rattler in favor of Williams, a former top-10 recruit. Since switching to Williams, Oklahoma is 3-0 and averaging 46.3 points per game, while Williams has completed 71.6% of passes for 1,189 yards, 14 touchdowns and just 1 interception in his sudden ascension into the Heisman race.
Defensive mind: Baylor coach Dave Aranda has schemed against Lincoln Riley's offenses as well as any coach in football. In his last two matchups against the Sooners -- in 2019 at LSU and in 2020 at Baylor -- Aranda's defenses held them to an average of 295.5 yards and 27.5 points per game, well below their respective season averages of 518.8 yards and 42.5 points per game. If Aranda can slow down Oklahoma once again, Baylor's offense is finally good enough to take advantage.
Final stretch: The Sooners are, amazingly, 9-0 for the first time since 2004, but the biggest reason is a backloaded schedule. Oklahoma has managed to dodge every team with a winning conference record -- until now. In one of the toughest three-game stretches in years for this program, Oklahoma gets 7-2 Baylor, 6-3 Iowa State and 8-1 Oklahoma State in the final month of the season. The Sooners likely need to win all three games and a Big 12 title game rematch to earn a trip to the playoff.
Wide zone: Baylor has been one of the most improved offenses in all of college football after hiring offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes away from BYU. The Bears jumped from No. 118 to No. 20 nationally in total offense and from 4.4 to 7.1 yards per play, largely behind moving Abram Smith from starting linebacker to one of the top running backs in the nation. Smith's 1,055 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns have completely transformed the unit. If the wide-zone offense Baylor runs sounds familiar, it's because Kansas runs a similar system. If the Jayhawks' offense gave Oklahoma fits, imagine what Baylor can do with more talented players.
How to watch Oklahoma vs. Baylor live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 13 | Time: noon ET
Location: McLane Stadium -- Waco, TX
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Oklahoma vs. Baylor prediction, picks
This is Oklahoma's first test against a nationally-ranked opponent, making it one of college football's great unknowns. Baylor is also the first defense that should be able to challenge Williams. Behind the unpredictable wide-zone offense -- and Aranda's previous success against Riley -- expect this game to finish close. Prediction: Baylor (+5.5)
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