Points, points and more points. That’s what we can expect Saturday afternoon at Jerry World when Baylor and Oklahoma tangle in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Just a few weeks after playing an absolute thriller in Waco, Baylor and Oklahoma once again will do battle with a trip to the College Football Playoff potentially at stake. It figures to be a busy day for the AT&T Stadium scoreboard operator, as the two teams combined for 65 points in that Nov. 16 showdown.
In that game, Baylor jumped out to a 28-3 after just 20 minutes. OU, however, stormed back, cutting 21 at the half before outscoring the Bears 24-0 in the second half. Baylor simply had no answer for Jalen Hurts, who ran for a game-high 114 yards in addition to completing 30 of 42 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns.
Whether Matt Rhule’s Baylor team can solve that riddle Saturday afternoon in Dallas will be this game’s biggest focal point. The Baylor defense, that second-half meltdown aside, has been a pretty strong unit. The Bears were the 14th-ranked scoring defense nationally, which is even more impressive considering the Big 12’s reputation for high-scoring, high-powered offenses and borderline inept defense.
Kickoff time: Saturday, noon ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Dallas
Point spread: Oklahoma -9
Pick: BAYLOR +9
Well, if Baylor hasn’t learned its lesson by now, it’s never going to happen. You have to believe Rhule and Co. will figure out a way to do at least a slightly better job of slowing down Hurts and that offense this time around. Baylor has also been much better this season at protecting the football. The Bears’ plus-12 turnover margin was tied for fifth in the nation, and only Alabama had a better rate among major conference teams. Oklahoma, meanwhile, actually was on the negative side of the turnover battle all season, going minus-5. Typically, they had the offensive firepower to overcome those mistakes. No one knows that better than Baylor. But that Baylor defense will be out to right that wrong, in a rare college football revenge spot. Baylor also has proved to be fairly resilient this season, going 6-0 in road or neutral-site games, covering the spread in four of those six games. And if we’re leaning Baylor, we’re probably also gonna lean with under 65 for the total.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images