Baylor Outplays Oklahoma 27-14 – The New York Times


It is uncommon {that a} Power 5 workforce’s undefeated report works in opposition to it.

The 9-0 Georgia Bulldogs are the highest workforce in school soccer, and, barring an unlikely loss, are almost assured to make a playoff look. Last season, Nick Saban’s Alabama workforce held that distinction. The two years prior, it was Louisiana State in 2019 and Clemson in 2018.

This yr was Oklahoma’s flip. The Sooners entered the season with an offense that was anticipated to be potent, led by a quarterback in Spencer Rattler who drew preseason Heisman Trophy hype.

But regardless of successful 17 consecutive video games and pulling off a number of comeback victories in 2021, the Sooners hadn’t impressed the College Football Playoff choice committee. Absent from their 9-0 résumé was a win over a workforce at the moment ranked within the high 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings.

“There just hasn’t been a signature win yet,” Gary Barta, the chair of the choice committee, advised reporters this week.

Saturday was Oklahoma’s likelihood.

The No. 8 Sooners confronted a 7-2 Baylor workforce that they’d overwhelmed seven consecutive occasions. But as an alternative of capturing a wanted win, the Sooners misplaced, they usually underperformed badly within the course of.

In a doable preview of the Big 12 championship sport, Baylor handed Oklahoma a 27-14 loss which will have punctured the Sooners’ College Football Playoff hopes.

Baylor did so by quieting Oklahoma’s offense, which entered the sport averaging almost 500 yards a sport and over seven yards per play, and by relying on the dashing of junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who completed with 107 yards on the bottom.

“All this season I haven’t really been running the ball because the pocket has been good,” Bohanon stated on the Fox Sports broadcast after the sport. “But I told my coach this week: ‘I have 100 yards rushing in me this week. I’m coming in, and I want the energy to start with me.’ Coach made an emphasis about playing violent, and I wanted to make sure everybody felt that I was going to play violent.”

Bohanon was liable for every of Baylor’s three touchdowns, tossing one and dashing for 2.

Caleb Williams, the Sooners’ athletic true freshman quarterback who changed Rattler in October, barely resembled the identical participant who had thrown for over 800 yards in his first three begins. His spectacular performs have been overshadowed by poor selections and inaccurate passes. He threw two interceptions.

And after a run that gained 19 yards, Williams’s hand was stepped on as he rolled out of bounds late within the first half. His subsequent possession was one other interception by which he gave the impression to be making an attempt to throw the ball away. Williams was changed by Rattler late within the third quarter after “We want Spencer” chants emerged from the Oklahoma followers who had traveled to McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Rattler started the season as Oklahoma’s starter earlier than Williams changed him in a dramatic win in opposition to Texas final month. The redshirt sophomore’s first possession, which got here with lower than two minutes left within the third quarter, yielded solely a punt. And he did little to leap-begin an Oklahoma offense that was held to its lowest level complete of the season.

Baylor’s protection, coming off probably its worst efficiency of the season in final week’s loss to Texas Christian (the Bears allowed over 500 yards), tallied 5 sacks and 9 tackles for losses because the workforce contained each Rattler and Williams, giving neither quarterback many alternatives to push the ball down the sphere.

Oklahoma’s solely touchdowns got here within the second quarter and within the fourth, after the sport’s destiny appeared sealed.

The first rating got here after a scoreless first quarter by which Baylor didn’t convert a fourth-down conversion inside the ten-yard line and each groups missed subject objective makes an attempt. Oklahoma’s protection intercepted Bohanon to start out the second quarter, and Williams ran it in for a 2-yard rating on the Sooners’ subsequent possession.

Seventeen unanswered Baylor factors adopted because the Bears bullied the Sooners on the line of scrimmage, holding Oklahoma to only 260 complete yards as Bohanon and the Baylor offense outgained the Sooners on the bottom, 296-78.

As time wound down, the rumbles inside McLane Stadium turned to roars. When the sport ended, Baylor gamers skipped throughout the sphere as followers stormed round them.

Oklahoma Coach Lincoln Riley could possibly be seen yelling at officers on the Sooners’ sideline, showing upset that Baylor wasn’t assessed a penalty after followers rushed the sphere with one second remaining on the sport clock. But it didn’t matter a lot.

If there was little that an undefeated Sooners workforce might do to get into the playoffs earlier than, these aspirations evaporated as their crimson and cream jerseys pale into the guests locker room.