Kickoff: 2:30 PM CT
Location: McLane Stadium (Waco, Texas)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Twitter: Follow @HeartlandPokes for live-tweets during the game
The no. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys are coming off a bye week and are now traveling down to Waco, Texas, where they will kickoff conference play against the Baylor Bears . Oklahoma State is undefeated at 3-0 so far, and the Bears are 3-1 with their one loss coming to Brigham Young University in an overtime thriller.
A big reason for Oklahoma State’s success so far is quarterback Spencer Sanders. Sanders has been at the helm of the Cowboy offense for 4 years now, but even with all of that experience, it might be safe to say that he’s exceeding expectations for this season so far.
“He’s playing pretty good,” said head coach Mike Gundy. “When we protect him a little bit and rush the ball some, he’s a pretty good football player. He’s got good skill. He understands what we’re trying to accomplish. We’ve talked about this a number of times, but he’s had a lot of experience now. Things come to him much easier than they did a couple of years ago.”
Despite some key personnel changes, Baylor enters the game looking somewhat similar to what they did when these two teams met in the Big 12 Championship last year.
“A lot of similarities,” said Mike Gundy. “Their concepts are the same. Not a lot of personnel changes, other than the safety [Jalen Pitre] that was a really, really good player that’s not there anymore and a couple skill kids on offense. But, they look essentially the same scheme-wise. Quarterback is back now, obviously got more experience than when we saw him, but same group.”
Because of the familiarity of these two teams, as well as the talent level on both sides, fans should expect an intense matchup. The Bears are a slight favorite, likely because they are playing in front of a rowdy home crowd. This game will likely depend upon who can take better care of the ball. Whoever can play the cleaner game will probably the team to come out on top.
How the Cowboys Can Win
It cannot be stated enough how important it is to take care of the ball. Spencer Sanders had a tough time with that in last year’s Big 12 Championship against Baylor, and if Oklahoma State can play an efficient game, they should come away with the win because of a superior offense.
How the Bears Can Win
Baylor has home field advantage, which counts for something in conference play. If the Bears can maintain any type of momentum, there’s a good chance they can use that to force a turnover or two. Don’t let the Cowboys get an early lead, and the Bears have a very good chance of pulling off the upset at home.
Staff Score Predictions
|Matt||35-34 Oklahoma State|
|Zack||33-27 Oklahoma State|
An Oklahoma State Win Would…
- Make the Cowboys 4-0 for the third straight season and for the seventh time in the Mike Gundy era.
- Make the Cowboys 6-1 in its past seven road games.
- Improve Mike Gundy’s record against Baylor to 11-8.
- Improve Mike Gundy’s record in Big 12 games to 92-56.
- Improve Mike Gundy’s record in road games to 53-35.
- Make the Cowboys 18-2 in its past 20 games overall, dating back to the 2020 season.
- Make the Cowboys 7-1 in their past eight and 16-6 in their past 22 games vs. AP Top 25 teams.
- Mark Mike Gundy’s 37th career win vs. AP Top 25 opponents. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the only other active coaches with more wins over AP Top 25 teams at their current schools.
- Make the Cowboys 9-3 in its past 12 games when both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25.
Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game
- OSU has won a school-record 11 consecutive home games.
- OSU has won two consecutive road games.
- OSU has held nine of its past 15 opponents under 100 yards rushing.
- OSU has held 19 consecutive opponents under 200 yards rushing.
- OSU has held 22 of its past 24 Big 12 opponents under their season scoring average.
- OSU has won 81 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating back to Sept. 13, 2003 – the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and longest since at least 1980.
- OSU has held its opponent scoreless on its game-opening drive in 26 of its past 34 games.
- OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50% third down conversion rate in 27 of its past 28 games.
- OSU is 32-12 in its past 44 games decided by fewer than 10 points.
- OSU is 42-6 in its past 48 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016.
- Dating back to 2005, OSU is 44-4 when not committing a turnover.
- Dating back to 2008, OSU is 70-8 when winning the turnover battle.
- OSU has won three of its past four overtime games.
- OSU has forced 31 turnovers in its past 21 games.
- Over the past 28 games, OSU has held opponents to 115-for-421 (27.3%) on third down.