On Saturday the Baylor Bears will look to tally their 5th win of the season as they host Oklahoma State in Waco for their annual Homecoming game. The Bears are only a couple of games away from being eligible to play in a bowl game, making Saturday’s contest all the more important.
So what should we expect from the Bears this Saturday?
The Bears are undoubtedly coming off of their worst performance of the season, a 44-point loss to West Virginia. On both sides of the ball, the Bears looked outmatched.
The Baylor offense stalled nearly every time they touched the ball, never seeming to find any sort of rhythm at all. Matt Rhule’s elite wide receiver tandem of Jalen Hurd and Denzel Mims looked human for the first time all season, combining for only 67 yards and 5 catches on the day.
The wide receivers’ struggles were shared by QB Charlie Brewer, who was eventually subbed out of the game in the second quarter due to concussion-like symptoms. Brewer finished the contest with only one completion and three interceptions on 8 attempts. Backup QB Jalan McClendon actually held his own against the Mountaineers’ defense however, throwing for an efficient 183 yards while engineering a fourteen-point third quarter surge. Regardless of this boost, McClendon’s spark did not prove nearly enough to overcome the massive deficit the Bears accrued during the first half.
The Baylor defense proved just as ineffective as the offense, ceding over 40 points in the first half alone. West Virginia QB Will Grier bolstered his Heisman case, finishing with 353 yards and 3 TDs en route to embarrassing the Bears’ secondary time and time again. Rhule’s defense faltered against the run as well, giving up 172 yards on the ground to the Mountaineers.
There’s no way to spin it—the Bears looked bad a week ago. Perhaps a week of ironing out the kinks will prove enough to refocus them for the biggest game of the year.
Oklahoma State, on the other hand, is riding a wave of momentum after knocking off #6 Texas in their own homecoming game last Saturday. Despite an abysmal start to the season, the Pokes were able to pull together an electric performance in front of their home crowd. While last Saturday’s win was impressive, it remains to be seen whether Mike Gundy and company are really as dangerous as they seem.
Hopefully the Bears will be able to capture that same homecoming magic on Saturday night. With over a week of rest, expect Baylor to be fresh and energized by a packed crowd in McLane Stadium.
Ok St. : 27