Baylor +10.5 4.4% NCAAF POD
Oklahoma has a fantastic offense once again and you have to give Lincoln Riley a lot of credit. Actually everyone already does that for us. He did have to replace another QB, but this time 4 of 5 offensive linemen, and that really hasn’t shown up yet this year, because Oklahoma has not faced a top defense. They faced one team in the top 50 in rushing defense, which was West Virginia who ranks 47th, and they rank 116th vs. the pass. They faced one team in the top 50 in passing defense, Kansas State, and they lost. I know they put up 40+ points, but Kansas State ranks 111th vs. the run. Baylor’s defense ranks 17th vs. the run, and 11th vs. the pass, and they rank 19th at sack %, and they do that without a lot of blitzing.
Oklahoma’s offense is really all about defending two guys. Jalen Hurts, make him a passer. He nearly threw 3 interceptions in the first quarter against Iowa State who runs a ton of cover 3. Well, Baylor will run the same thing, but they can get pressure on Hurts with their DL led by James Lynch. I give all the credit in the world to Jalen Hurts who stuck around at Alabama and transferred at the end of the season, but he just doesn’t make good decisions. We have seen this story before it is what got him benched at Alabama, and it appears not much has changed, and I think it’s because he has not played in a lot of challenging games over his career. CeeDee Lamb is the other guy on this Oklahoma offense you have to worry about, and I believe Baylor has a CB that can slow him down in Jameson Houston who has held two elite WR in check already this season. Jalen Reagor and Tylan Wallace combined for just 7 catches and 77 yards. Lamb is a different animal, but Baylor is a really good tackling team and they rank 4th in the country in explosive pass defense, which should help them tremendously in bottling up this Oklahoma offense. I think it’s okay to let them get their yards, and then create mistakes when Oklahoma is in the red zone it’s something Baylor has done really well. We saw Jalen do this in the Texas game, and Texas by no means has a great defense this year. Oklahoma’s offense is -21% TD percentage in the red zone on the road, and their defense is -15% on the road vs. their home splits.
Oklahoma’s defense is not any better than a year ago it seems to me. The one worry I have in this game is Baylor’s offensive line that has not been good. They really have to tire out a defensive line before Brewer has any serious time to throw the ball. I think they can have success doing that here, but expect to see a conservative approach from Baylor’s offense early. They do feature the talent to challenge this defense ranking top 20 in rushing play explosiveness. We saw what Iowa State did in the running game to open the second half and BAylor’s QB is absolutely another threat in the running game that Oklahoma has to worry about. Baylor also has Mimms at WR who has had monster games against Oklahoma over his career, 22 receptions for 330 yards. Mimms won them the game at TCU last week.
Baylor is a team that fights until the end and that’s the type of team I want my money on. Matt Rhule has this team fighting, and last week it showed where they could have lost the game against TCU so many times. They are back home and a better team here. They got up 21-0 on Iowa State earlier this year, and nobody but Oklahoma has done that to Iowa State. Baylor believes, because they did it before. In 2017 they lost 48-41 in Rhule’s first year. They got down 21-0, and 28-7 and came back and took the lead then Oklahoma got up 17, and Baylor came back to make a game of it again. This team fights, they tackle well and have a lot of the ingredients to pull an upset. I think this will be a tight game throughout, and if Baylor can just get it to the 4th quarter they’ll have a shot for the upset.
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