Oklahoma Sooners

2019 Big 12 Football Championship Game | Here’s What You’ll Want To Know

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Kickoff: 11:00 a.m.

Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

Television: ABC

Oklahoma is going for its fifth consecutive Big 12 title and 13th overall when it faces Baylor Saturday morning at AT&T Stadium. Meanwhile the Bears are making their first-ever appearance in the Big 12 title game after becoming the first Power 5 program to win 11 games within two seasons of losing 11 games.

Here are ten things you’ll want to know about Saturday morning’s Big 12 championship game.

10. A Lopsided Series

Saturday’s game will mark the first AP top-10 matchup between the Sooners and Bears. OU has made 602 all-time appearances in the AP’s top 10, while Baylor has made 77.

Oklahoma owns a 26-3 all-time record against Baylor. In the Big 12 era, the Sooners hold a 21-3 series advantage. Saturday’s game will mark the first in the series not played in Norman or Waco.

Since Baylor won three of four meetings against Oklahoma — in 2011, ’13 and ’14 for its only series victories — the Sooners have won five straight against the Bears and have averaged 47.6 points in the process. OU scored 44 points in 2015, 45 in 2016, 49 in 2017, 66 last year and 34 this season. It has scored at least 30 points in 19 of the last 21 series games.

9. Tops In Turnovers

The Bears lead the Big 12 with a +12 turnover margin, after a combined turnover differential of -23 in 2017- 18. BU’s jump of +21 from 2018 to 2019 is the largest among all Power 5 teams and 2nd in FBS (FAU, +26).

The Bears are third nationally with 16 interceptions, led by Grayland Arnold with 6 (most by BU player since 2016).

The Bears have forced multiple turnovers in eight times in 2019 and rank second nationally with a takeaway in 14 consecutive games dating back to 2018’s win over Texas Tech.

8. Clash Of The Titans!

Saturday’s game will feature the Big 12’s top scoring offense in Oklahoma (44.3 ppg; No. 5 nationally) versus the league’s top scoring defense in Baylor (18.4 ppg; No. 13 nationally). OU also ranks first in the country in total offense (564.3 ypg) while Baylor ranks third in the Big 12 and 39th nationally in total defense (352.8 ypg).

7. Speed D Is Making Strides As Well

The Sooners’ defense has also been stout, as it leads the Big 12 in yards allowed per game (336.1; 26th nationally) and in passing yards allowed per game (195.9; 22nd nationally).

Since trailing Baylor 31-10 at halftime on Nov. 16, Oklahoma has held the Bears, TCU and Oklahoma State to a combined 608 yards (60.8 per quarter) while gaining 1,329 yards itself over the last two and-a-half games. During that same span, the Sooners have held a 204-112 advantage in plays, a 74-35 advantage in first downs and a 97:54- 52:06 advantage in time of possession.

6. Elite Company

Baylor joins Clemson and Ohio State as the only three Power 5 teams to rank in the top 15 of scoring offense (15th, 36.2 ppg) and scoring defense (13th, 18.4 ppg).

Lincoln Riley is looking to become just the fourth FBS head coach since at least 1996 to win three conference titles in his first three years as a head coach. Marshall’s Bob Pruett [1997-99], Miami’s Larry Coker [2001-03] and Oregon’s Chip Kelly [2009-11] accomplished the feat.

5. From The S.E.C. To The Big 12

Both quarterbacks are making their Big 12 championship game debut but Jalen Hurts is certainly no stranger to conference championship games.

Hurts was the star of last year’s SEC Championship vs. Georgia, rallying Alabama to a 35-28 win after it trailed 28-21 when he replaced injured starter Tua Tagovailoa with 11:15 left in the fourth quarter. Hurts took the Crimson Tide 69 yards on his first drive that culminated with a 10-yard game-tying touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy with 5:19 left. On Alabama’s next possession, Hurts capped a 52-yard drive with a 15-yard rushing TD with 1:04 remaining for the game’s final points. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 82 yards and had five carries for 28 yards on his two drives.

4. Bringing The Pressure

Baylor has 40 sacks in 12 games, tying the school record set in 1992. That total is tied for 16th in Big 12 history.

James Lynch owns Baylor records for sacks in a Big 12 game (3.0 at K-State) and career sacks (19.0). He needs only 0.5 to tie the single-season sack record of 11.0. The Bears lead the nation with 20.0 sacks rushing only three.

3. #2 Is Back!

Oklahoma played without junior receiver and Biletnikoff Award finalist CeeDee Lamb three weeks ago in Waco due to a medical issue. Lamb has finished with at least 135 receiving yards five times this season (135, 144, 167, 171 and 185), including in four of his last seven games. He has scored seven touchdowns over his last six contests.

On the season, Lamb ranks third nationally in TD receptions (14; the OU single-season record is 17), 10th in yards per catch (20.7) and 19th in receiving yards per game (94.1). Making his TD and yards-per-game numbers even more impressive is the fact that he ranks 94th nationally with just 4.5 catches per game.

2. The Comeback Kid

In his time as Baylor’s starting quarterback, Charlie Brewer has led the Bears on five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter, including this season’s victories over Iowa State and OSU. He also led drives to tie the game before ultimately winning in overtime vs. Texas Tech and TCU.

Brewer has completed greater than 60% of his passes in 21 of 28 starts, including 12 of the last 14.

1. Give Him The Groza

Gabe Brkic is one of two placekickers nationally (Air Force’s Jake Koehnke is 12 for 12) who have made all of their field goal attempts this season and is the only one who has made all of his field goal AND extra point tries. The redshirt freshman, who didn’t take over OU’s placekicking duties until the season’s fourth game (vs. Texas Tech), is 14 for 14 on field goals and 45 for 45 on PATs. His streak of 14 made field goals is the longest in school history at the start of a career, the longest ever by an OU freshman and tied for the longest in a single season regardless of class (Scott Blanton made 14 straight in 1992). No Oklahoma kicker has ever made all of his field goal and extra-point attempts for an entire season (Michael Keeling was a combined 42 of 43 [97.7%] in 1979).

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