By Cody Soto
NORMAN, Okla. – No. 12 Baylor football made history Saturday afternoon. After a slow start in the opening quarter, the Bears scored 45 unanswered points to dominate No. 15 Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. for a 48-14 win in Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium. It’s the first time a Baylor football team has won in Norman.
“I am really proud of our football team. We had a lot of guys playing at their skill level, and that’s what you want in a team,” head coach Art Briles said. “I knew we felt challenged coming into the game, and we felt this was the first game where we had to play our best in order to win. Our guys rose up to the challenge.”
The Bears (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) finished with 544 offensive yards behind an impressive 396 passing yards. While Oklahoma (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) limited Baylor to 148 rushing yards, senior quarterback Bryce Petty fired away to finish 32-for-42 for 387 passing yards in the win.
“I saw a lot of determination today, especially from Bryce Petty,” Briles said. “It’s been a great maturing process for him. We knew that if the people around him played at his determination level, then it’s going to be a good day for us.”
Sophomore receiver Corey Coleman led the Bears in the attack with 224 yards on 15 catches for a receiving touchdown. Coleman also had seven rushing yards where he blew past the Sooner defense for another 6 points.
The Bears started out shaky as they traded three-and-outs with the Sooner defense. Petty and the offense used 13 plays to get down the field and get in scoring position for the first time in the game. Freshman kicker Chris Callahan nailed a 34-yard field goal to give the Bears an early 3-0 lead in the opening quarter.
The Sooners quickly answered with points of their own, but they weren’t field goals. Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight threw a quick 8-yard touchdown pass to receiver Michiah Quick to put the Sooners up 7-3 with 5:07 left in the quarter. The Sooners scored again on a three-and-out situation set up by the defense to take a 14-3 lead at the end of the quarter.
“Coming into this environment, I knew the fans were behind them and it was going to be a big test for us,” sophomore cornerback Ryan Reid said. “We were very calm [after trailing 14-3] because we knew all we had to do was to make stops and let our offense score. Our offense will score if we get stops.”
That would be the last time the Sooners would see the end zone for the rest of the game. The Bears fired their way into the end zone with a big 33-yard touchdown pass to Coleman quickly to stay within four, 14-10. Oklahoma was held to only 13 first downs in the game.
“They’re a big, physical team. We knew as a defense that if we could stop their run, then we could keep up with them,” senior linebacker Bryce Hager said.
Hager picked off a pass from Knight to run 36 yards to the 1-yard line to allow sophomore running back Devin Chafin to punch in the ball for another Baylor touchdown. Chafin returned to the end zone later in the quarter to put the Bears up 24-14 heading into halftime. Hager said that the interception fueled the Baylor sideline.
“This interception meant a lot to me. We knew coming into this game that we were going to have to create our own energy, and by finding momentum any way we can, it sparked something for us,” Hager said. “We were then able to score more and get more three-and-outs. It was one of those momentum swings for us.”
The rest of the game was in favor of Baylor. The Bears scored three more touchdowns and a field goal in the final 30 minutes of the game, stunning Sooner Nation. Sophomore running back Shock Linwood had two scores in the third and fourth quarter to give Baylor a 34-point lead with 7:37 left in the game.
Sophomore quarterback Seth Russell saw some game action quickly after that, and the Bears took a knee to seal the 48-14 victory.
Trevor Knight was carried off the field after the Baylor defense had a huge sack for a 15-yard loss. Knight kept his spirits up as he pointed to the sky as the crowd applauded him late in the fourth quarter. No official word has been announced on his condition.
Petty’s “Ready For OU” stance was no joke. Winning this game meant a lot to him, he said.
“It was something about this game. This game for me was circled, dotted, starred, on my calendar,” Petty said. “Every game is a big game, but I really wanted to win this game. With all of the records we un-wrote, it’s big. I really wanted to come out for my teammates.”
The Bears are heading home with a satisfying win and snap a winning drought in Norman, something that Briles said was a “fearless” victory.
“We were going to attack; we weren’t going to come into this game fearful. We wanted to come in fearless, and that’s what we did today,” Briles said. “Our guys really played well in a tough environment on the road, and at the end of the day, it gives us another Big 12 win.”
The Bears will have a bye week on Nov. 15 but will return to action against Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State in McLane Stadium on Nov. 22. Kickoff time has not been officially announced.