coleryan Posts:11990 Followers:20
On 11/18/2013 04:31 PM in NCAA Football

Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State Cowboys: Preview and Pick

Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State Cowboys: Preview and Pick

The Baylor Bears are quickly climbing up the college football rankings and have a shot at making a big impression on the BCS National Championship picture. Their standing will be elevated even further if they can take down the ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road. The Cowboys are also making some noise in the college football world as they recently took down Texas on the road and have a shot at giving Baylor their first loss of the season.

Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State Cowboys Odds

The college football odds for this game opened up with the Bears listed as (-10.5) point favorites due to their high octane offense. That number dropped with the first wave of betting and it can now be found as low as (-8). The betting on this game is nearly even with Baylor taking in just 51 percent of the wagering up to this point. This could change leading up to kickoff so make sure to check out the latest line at the top rated online sportsbooks.

The Bears still have a shot at playing for it all in the end. If Baylor earns wins over Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas in the final three weeks, it will at the very least be in its first BCS game as the conference champ. Could there be more? A lot of that depends on whether the Crimson Tide, Seminoles and Buckeyes end up undefeated, but it's worth pointing out that a trio of wins over Oklahoma State, Texas and Oklahoma (the Bears beat the Sooners 41-12 on Nov. 7) would hold its own against the top three wins that FSU and OSU would have earned by that point. They have to keep winning for any of this to happen.

Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State Cowboys Trends

The latest college football betting trends reveal that both teams have some favorable betting angles in this game. The Bears are 21-8 against the spread (ATS) in their last 29 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game, 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game and 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. The Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games against a team with a winning road record, 37-17 ATS in their last 54 games on turf and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.

Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick

With plenty of time before kickoff we will wait for more information to come in before we select a side on this contest. Make sure to check back on the day of the game to see who we select as our winner for this big game.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 4-8-1
coleryan Posts:11990 Followers:20
11/19/2013 01:40 PM


Baylor coach Art Briles acknowledges that this week is a big game for his undefeated and third-ranked Bears.

They just happen to be playing at No. 11 Oklahoma State, the preseason Big 12 favorite that has won six straight games to get back in the thick of the title chase.

“It doesn’t matter whatever team that Oklahoma State was playing this week or Baylor was playing this week,” Briles said Monday. “It was going to be a big game because of what they’ve done up through the season and what we’ve done up through this season. It just happens to be we’re playing.”

With an offense on pace to set major college records at 61 points and 685 yards a game, the Bears (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) are riding a school-best 13-game winning streak, have matched their highest-ever AP ranking and fourth in the BCS standings.

Yet Briles, the Texas-born coach whose whole career has been spent in the Lone Star State, keeps the same even tone that he has throughout his six seasons at Baylor.

“It’s huge. That mentality trickles down to us. You can’t make any game bigger than any of the others,” quarterback Bryce Petty said. “You have to treat each game as it’s a one-game season, as it’s just a normal day. So that kind of confidence is what makes us play at such a high level.”

The Bears have gotten themselves in position to win their first Big 12 title, still facing a pair of potential title-deciding games in the last three weeks.

Baylor hasn’t won an outright league title since Mike Singletary was a linebacker in 1980 for a Southwest Conference title team. The Bears shared the SWC title in 1994, only because unbeaten Texas A&M was ineligible and they were among five teams with 4-3 SWC marks.

Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1) is coming off a 38-13 win at Texas, which had been the only other team without a loss in Big 12 play. The Bears playing their final regular season game Dec. 7 against the Longhorns (7-3, 6-1), who are still alive in the championship chase.

The Bears overcame their first double-digit deficit of the season in a 63-34 victory over Texas Tech at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium. Baylor trailed 14-0 and 20-7 but gained the lead for good by the end of the first quarter.

Now they head Saturday night to Stillwater, where Baylor hasn’t won since 1939, with plenty on the line.

“You have to embrace it,” Petty said. “You’re there for a reason The Big 12 is what we want.”

  • Last 7 Days Record: 4-8-1
coleryan Posts:11990 Followers:20
11/20/2013 08:05 PM


Now that he is back in control of No. 11 Oklahoma State’s offense, senior quarterback Clint Chelf has the Cowboys on the verge of their second Big 12 Conference championship in three years.

A win against No. 3 Baylor (9-0, 6-0 Big 12), who visit Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday night, will put Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1) in prime position to claim the Big 12 title with another game remaining against No. 22 Oklahoma.

One of the biggest reasons for six consecutive wins has been Chelf’s gradual improvement since regaining the signal-calling job midway through a 24-10 win over TCU on Oct. 19.

“Every game he plays, he gets a little bit better feel,” coach Mike Gundy said. “His reads, his percentages of plusses and minus, based on the mental aspect of his game, improves each and every week. He’s a nifty ball-carrier, he’s been effective running the football. And for the most part, he’s minimized his throws that are poor decisions. He’s been very effective in understanding our game plan and to ultimately win the game.”

Chelf has displayed character and resilience this season, first after losing the QB spot to sophomore J.W. Walsh during the Cowboys’ season opening 21-3 win over Mississippi State on Aug. 31. Following several weeks on the sidelines, Chelf replaced Walsh against TCU and on his very first play from scrimmage tossed an interception.

He rebounded from that to lead Oklahoma State to a win, and has become more efficient in each outing since, both throwing the ball and running it, culminating with an outstanding performance last weekend in the Cowboys’ 38-13 triumph at then-No. 23 Texas.

In handing Texas its first Big 12 loss, Chelf completed 16 of 22 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 95 yards and two scores on just 10 carries.

“He’s been more effective running the football than what we all thought,” Gundy said of Chelf, who had just 205 yards and zero touchdowns rushing in eight games last year. “I think he’s surprised us with his ability to open up with speed when he gets out into space.”

At 6-1, 210 pounds, Chelf may not be the most graceful runner, but his ability to read the defense and then deceive them with the fake hand-off before heading in the other direction has contributed greatly to his recent success, surpassing 80 yards rushing in three of the last four games.

“The thing about that (QB draw) play, Clint makes the decision himself whether he’s going to run it or throw it,” said senior receiver Charlie Moore, who caught a season-high six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown against Texas. “I run that play like I’m about to get the ball. Sometimes I don’t even know and I turn around and I see Clint running up the middle. He’s smart and it’s been working. Clint’s a fast kid, he’s big, he got known as the passer, but I don’t think (his running ability is) a secret anymore.”

It certainly isn’t to Baylor.

“He’s done a great job, he just seems to be very composed and has the ability to run, which they’ve really added the last two or three weeks,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “He’s really hurt some teams running the football. They throw it very effectively, so I think Oklahoma State as a program does a great job playing to their personnel.”

And while the atmosphere in Stillwater could potentially intimidate some players, don’t expect Chelf to be one of them.

“He played with a lot of poise,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said of Chelf’s performance at Texas. “He’s a great leader, made a lot of great decisions and did a great job not only in the passing game, but also the running game as well.”

  • Last 7 Days Record: 4-8-1
coleryan Posts:11990 Followers:20
11/21/2013 10:25 AM

Baylor coach Art Briles acknowledges that this week is a big game for his undefeated and third-ranked Bears.

They just happen to be playing at No. 11 Oklahoma State, the preseason Big 12 favorite that has won six straight to get back in the thick of the title chase.

''It doesn't matter whatever team that Oklahoma State was playing this week or Baylor was playing this week,'' Briles said Monday. ''It was going to be a big game because of what they've done up through the season and what we've done up through this season. It just happens to be we're playing.''

With an offense on pace to set major college records at 61 points and 685 yards a game, the Bears (9-0, 6-0) are riding a school-best 13-game winning streak, have matched their highest-ever AP ranking and are fourth in the BCS standings.

"We got our work cut out for us this week, playing the best team in the league," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. ''Baylor's pretty much had their way with everybody they've played this year, I think everybody would agree with that. They're very deserving of being ranked third or fourth in the country. A lot of credit goes to them, so it should be a lot of fun Saturday night.''

Yet Briles, the Texas-born coach whose whole career has been spent in the Lone Star State, keeps the same even tone that he has throughout his six seasons at Baylor.

''It's huge. That mentality trickles down to us. You can't make any game bigger than any of the others,'' quarterback Bryce Petty said. ''You have to treat each game as it's a one-game season, as it's just a normal day. So that kind of confidence is what makes us play at such a high level.''

The Bears have gotten themselves in position to win their first Big 12 title, still facing a pair of potential title-deciding games in the last three weeks.

Baylor hasn't won an outright league title since Mike Singletary was a linebacker in 1980 for a Southwest Conference title team. The Bears shared the SWC title in 1994, only because unbeaten Texas A&M was ineligible and they were among five teams with 4-3 SWC marks.

Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1) is coming off a 38-13 win at Texas, which had been the only other team without a loss in Big 12 play.

"I don't think it's any pressure or nervousness, a lot of guys have been through this before the last two years, playing in big games," Cowboys senior offensive lineman Parker Graham said. "I'm just really excited for it."

Following a loss at West Virginia on Sept. 28, it might have been difficult to envision the Cowboys still having a shot to win their second Big 12 championship in three years, but the team has improved every week since then - particularly the offense after senior Clint Chelf took over at quarterback and junior Desmond Roland assumed primary running back duties about four weeks ago.

The Bears, meanwhile, overcame their first double-digit deficit of the season in a 63-34 victory over Texas Tech last Saturday at the Dallas Cowboys' stadium. Baylor trailed 14-0 and 20-7 but gained the lead for good by the end of the first quarter.

Now they head to Stillwater, where Baylor hasn't won since 1939, with plenty on the line.

''You have to embrace it, you really do,'' Petty said. ''You're there for a reason. The Big 12 is what we want. I think it's OK to take that for what it is and be excited about it.''

Briles believes playing in the festive atmosphere of the NFL stadium, a sold-out home game against Oklahoma two weeks ago and a trip to Kansas State earlier this season helped prepare the Bears for what to expect at Oklahoma State.

''We've been in some pretty good atmospheres so far this year, and we feel like Stillwater's going to fall right in line with some of the things that we've lived through,'' Briles said. ''Without question, the guys have been on a big stage, and we feel like it's going to be one this week in Stillwater, and we feel like our players have earned it.''

The Bears played against Texas Tech without their top two running backs, Big 12 rushing leader Lache Seastrunk (groin) and Glasco Martin (knee) after both got banged up in a 41-12 win over Oklahoma on Nov. 7. Shock Linwood, effectively the third-string running back, ran for 182 yards against the Sooners and added 187 against Texas Tech and is second in the Big 12 with 101.5 yards per game.

Martin said Monday he expects to be able to play against the Cowboys. Seastrunk, meanwhile, started the running portion of his rehabilitation, and his return will be determined on how that goes this week.

''Lache, he's out there running. Glasco's looking really good, he was moving around really well the other night,'' Briles said. ''So they'll start coming around.''

  • Last 7 Days Record: 4-8-1
coleryan Posts:11990 Followers:20
11/22/2013 10:01 AM

No. 4 Baylor football’s defense has gone through a transformation in the last year, going from worst to first. After being ranked 119 out of 120 in the FBS at one point last year, Baylor is now 11th in total defense and first in the Big 12, in part because of the depth of the defense.

As Baylor continues to play tougher opponents with more potent offenses, having talented players on defense to back up the starters is an advantage because it allows players to keep their energy for longer periods of time.

“Against a team like [Texas] Tech, a fast-paced team, you’ve got to keep guys fresh as they try to snap the ball at a quick pace,” head coach Art Briles said. “The object is to keep guys fresh, so that’s the main thing. A fresh body is a good one because they’ll be there playing fast.”

The statistics the Baylor defense is putting up has defensive coordinator Phil Bennett and fans smiling.

Baylor’s defense has 12 interceptions, but has only allowed 13 passing touchdowns. The Bears are fifth in the nation in red zone defense, allowing a touchdown 64.3 percent of the time. Opponents are 21.7 percent on fourth down against Baylor, which is second in the Big 12.

The defense has forced two or more turnovers in 12 of the last 16 games. Despite the mixing and matching of players, the team chemistry is still high as defenders communicate on the field and trust each other to make the necessary plays.

The seniors continue to be productive on the field as they lead the team with their play setting an example for the younger players as they develop in Bennett’s system.

“It helps them because they get to sit back and watch how it’s done and learn,” senior cornerback K.J. Morton said. “Other than the coaches, they also have the seniors to get feedback from. They’re working and they’re going to be something special.”

Morton had a big game against the Red Raiders, getting his sixth career interception, forcing a fumble and four pass breakups.

Senior linebacker Eddie Lackey has 42 solo tackles, three sacks and an interception. Senior safety Ahmad Dixon has 40 solo tackles and an interception. Senior cornerbacks Demetri Goodson and Joe Williams have played well in the secondary, but the depth in that position as well as other positions has not gone unnoticed to the upperclassmen.

“We have a lot of depth, especially in the secondary,” Morton said. “We have a lot of seniors and a lot of younger guys like Xavien Howard and Ryan Reid who are ready to step up. We practice real hard and every guy knows that at any play, you can be up next. As a senior, I tell those guys to always be engaged on the sideline and to stay focused because you never know when it’s your turn.”

The underclassmen have made contributions to help this team become 9-0 for the first time in school history.

With junior linebacker Bryce Hager out with an injury during the Texas Tech game, other linebackers such as freshman linebacker Aiavion Edwards are stepping up to make plays. In his eight games, he has 11 solo tackles and 1.5 sacks with 3.5 tackles for a loss. Getting these repetitions will be beneficial, as injuries begin to take a toll on the team.

“It helps us have fresh legs,” freshman defensive lineman Byron Bonds said. “If coach has to take you out, the guy in there will go and fill in just as well as you can, so when you go back out there you have fresh legs.”

Sophomore defensive end Shawn Oakman has added the extra production Baylor is looking for in the rotation. He has 18 solo tackles and leads the team with 12 tackles for a loss. Oakman also has two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Bonds also has a forced fumble to his credit and 11 solo tackles.

With the season winding down and teams beginning to grind for greatness, this depth is what gives Baylor’s defense a critical advantage against the competition.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 4-8-1