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If Baylor beats you, make it grind

What to look for on Saturday against Baylor. It might not be pretty but it might just work.




Oddly, I think Oklahoma State has the right kind of team to beat Baylor this year.

Last season’s team against this year’s Baylor would have been hideous, NSFW, even. But gone are Monken’s middle fingers and in are Yurcich’s long, plodding, Big 10-like drives that have recently ended in lots and lots of touchdowns but continue to frustrate us because they take more than, say, 90 seconds.

But you know how you beat a team like Baylor? You take away their big, long plays and make them grind out plays against you up the middle. Short plays, lengthy drives, and tons of opportunities to create turnovers.

You make them impatient. The worst thing that can happen to a team like Baylor is getting in trouble on the road against a team that won’t give you the ball back. You start getting antsy and trying to score 20-point TDs. Don’t believe me? Go mention the words “44 minutes of Stanford possession” to your friend who roots for Oregon…

Here’s Baylor’s formula:

It is surreal on long drives — drives that last longer than 80 yards. It is first in the country in points per drive (3.80 points) on these long fields. For context — OSU only averages slightly more than that on short drives (drives that start inside its opponents’ own territory).

But Baylor isn’t having to grind to get these points. It ranks first nationally in the following categories:

Plays over 20 yards (2 more than second-best)
Plays over 30 yards (12 more)
Plays over 40 yards (9 more)
Plays over 50 yards (3 more)
Plays over 60 yards (2 more)
Plays over 70 yards (Even)
Plays over 80 yards (Even)

They crush you with their 70-yard passes after you pin them in their own territory — you guys watched the Kansas State game, yes? They had nothing but their lengthy, dazzling passes.

I realize taking these away is a lot easier said than done but you have to get in a war with them. This is counterintuitive to the way OSU has been playing but a more conservative gameplan early might make for more turnover opportunities late.

You really think Baylor wants to grind for four quarters against a defense as deep as OSU’s with its starting left tackle out, its best receiver out, and two of its three best running backs possibly out?


They want to score quickly and often and if you can let them dink and dunk they’ll get frustrated and Petty might lose his cool and hand Justin Gilbert a couple more mil in the form of gift-wrapped interceptions.

This feels like OSU’s only chance. You try to shoot it out with them and that’s not happening. But if you slow play them they might break and turn it over. Maybe they won’t, but I think you have to take the chances.

The best part is that OSU’s offense is perfect for this. For the first time in a while, too. OSU loves to run it — over and over and over again. 60 percent, sometimes 70 percent of the time. This is a good thing against Baylor because you can sustain drives that way and force their offense to sit on the sidelines and listen to a bunch of Baptist jokes from our drunken fans.

They might panic like Oregon on the Farm and they might furiously rally at the end and scare the piss out of everyone, but by then it might be too late.

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