From botched plays to bad calls and highly questionable coaching decisions, there’s going to be enough from this game to talk about for a few days. For now, let’s start with the basics that led to Oklahoma’s first loss of the season.
All of the things that went wrong for the Sooners in Waco on Saturday can boil down to focus. Missed field goals, dropped passes, penalties, play-calling, and missed tackles, it pretty much seemed to be all bad all of the time. Those are all issues that come with a lack of focus and it’s absolutely inexcusable for that to be a thing coming off a bye week after feeling disrespected by the College Football Playoff Committee for two weeks.
Oklahoma appeared to have slept walked through the most important game of the season and I just don’t know how that’s even possible. Give Baylor the credit they deserve. With their backs against the wall, they came out laser focused and executed a well prepared game plan. You absolutely can’t say that about the Sooners and for the first time this season they came up against an opponent that was too good for them just to go through the motions against.
The Game Defining Moment
It was clear on Oklahoma’s second play of the game that things were a bit out of whack. On what I believe was a run/pass option, Caleb Williams kept the ball and then froze. It was like he didn’t know what he should have done in that moment. The play resulted in a 6-yard loss and the Sooners went three-and-out on that opening drive.
Baylor knocked on the door of scoring with its opening drive. The Bears turned the ball over on downs after reaching Oklahoma’s 4-yard line but even at that the stage was set and the message was clear that these two teams were playing on two different levels.
I’ll never understand how defensive pass interference wasn’t called on this play.
I’m not one to blame the outcome of a game on the officials but this no call certainly didn’t help Oklahoma’s cause. This wasn’t just egregious neglect by the officials, it was also a momentum swinging no call.
Not On The Defense
Oklahoma’s defense has been an easy target of criticism this season but this loss absolutely wasn’t on Alex Grinch and his guys. The Speed D kept Baylor to just 10 points through the first three quarters of the game. The problem is that the Sooner offense stalled out time after time to the point where the defense finally succumbed in the fourth.
We’ll breakdown the offense and defense individually in future posts but I believe Lincoln Riley is going to have to take a long look in the mirror after this one.
He’s Got Lincoln Riley’s Number
Speaking on Lincoln Riley, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda is completely in Riley’s head. Aranda outcoached Riley from the start and it was obvious that this chess match wasn’t going to favor the crimson and cream. Oklahoma beat Baylor in 2020 but it was an offensive struggle even then. Those struggles continued on Saturday and were amplified even more.
The Problem Child
Terrel Bernard had a lot to do with Oklahoma’s offensive struggles. The senior linebacker was responsible for two of Baylor’s five quarterback sacks and had a team-high 9 total tackles.
There’s not much that’s redeemable from Oklahoma’s offensive performance on Saturday but it was good to see Mike Woods back on the field. The Arkansas transfer caught a team-high four passes for 53 yards.
Defensively Brian Asamoah led the Sooners with 10 total tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He also was responsible for a forced fumble.
Oklahoma hosts Iowa State next week for the final home game of the season.
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