Limit The Rushing Attack
Knowing Matt Romar’s status remains questionable entering the weekend, the Oklahoma Sooners will look for help on the defensive line. Listed as next up on the depth chart, Marquise Overton likely earns the start against the Baylor Bears. However, a tall task awaits just around the corner for this defensive front seven. Why?
On Saturday, Terence Williams will step onto the field for the first time this season. Averaging 5.66 yards per carry a season ago, this Baylor offense could look significantly different with the fourth year junior on the field. With the ability to run the ball 25+ times as a big, physical back, Williams’ style compliments an arm like Zach Smith possesses.
Assuming the rushing attack finds early success and sustains it, this game could be much closer than it appears on paper.
Pressure The Quarterback
This should be a no-brainer in a conference like the Big 12. As a true freshman, Zach Smith stepped in to start the final four games of the season. The pro-style quarterback threw for 1,526 yards and 13 touchdowns a year ago but has not had the same level of success early in 2017. Starting for the second time this year, Smith remains a more than capable quarterback with speed and talent surrounding him.
Asking the Sooners secondary to cover for longer periods of time could prove troublesome. Chris Platt has the ability to separate himself from any defender while Denzel Mims will make a defense pay frequently. As the duo takes the field, they’ll challenge even the best coverage corners in the country.
Oklahoma’s defense must find a way to pressure Smith into getting rid of the ball earlier to help out the secondary.
Deny The Big Play
Previously mentioned above, Chris Platt has the ability to stretch a defense to the maximum. A downfield threat who finds a way to separate himself from a defender could prove costly. Yet, none of it matters if the quarterback can’t throw the ball down field. As far as Baylor is concerned, Zach Smith can make all the throws.
At this point of the season, Oklahoma has surrendered four plays of 20+ yards with two of those coming at the hands of Tulane. Stepping in the Big 12 play, the possibility of programs eating up chunks of yardage increases significantly. Limiting the big play ability of the Bears leads to a comfortable win in Waco.