By Shehan Jeyarajah
Heading into last weekend, Baylor had never won a game in Norman, Okla. Ever. Down 14-3 after the end of the first quarter, the streak seemed to be alive and well.
Baylor opened the second quarter with a touchdown grab from sophomore wide receiver Corey Coleman to cut it to a one-score game.
On Oklahoma’s next possession, senior linebacker Bryce Hager intercepted a pass from Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight and took it to the one-yard line. Sophomore running back Devin Chafin punched it in one play later, and the momentum completely swung.
“You have to make plays like that to make a difference,” head coach Art Briles said. “You have to have those. You have to use those and take advantage of them.”
After the early deficit, No. 12 Baylor went on to score 45 straight points as the Bears bested No. 15 Oklahoma 48-14 for the program’s first-ever win on Owen Field.
“There was just something about this game,” senior quarterback Bryce Petty said. “Nothing against you guys, but this game, for me, was circled on the calendar. I don’t like to make that public, just because every game is a big game. At the same time, I really wanted to win this game.”
There was no shortage of motivational tools for Briles and his staff against the Sooners.
Coming into the 2014 season, Oklahoma was ranked No. 4 in the country and picked by 47 of the 56 voters in the 2014 Big 12 Football Preseason Poll to win the conference.
On top of that, the last time Baylor beat a ranked opponent on the road was Nov. 2, 1991. Petty was only 5 months old at the time. Most of the team was not even born yet.
“We haven’t had really great success on the road against anybody,” Briles said. “We really looked at that as a challenge from that standpoint. We want to take what we do offensively and be good with it.”
Petty has struggled at times this season, but played perhaps his finest game against the Sooners. The senior completed 32-of-42 passes for 387 yards and a score in the win, and picked apart the Oklahoma secondary all day long.
Coleman played the best game of his career in a win. The sophomore caught 15 balls for 224 yards, both career highs. Coleman also added a receiving and rushing score, the first such of his career. Coleman has caught a touchdown pass in six straight games, the longest such streak in college football.
The defense held Oklahoma to only 319 yards of total offense, well below the 475.1 yards per game they average.
This was the worst home loss suffered by Oklahoma under head coach Bob Stoops. Coming into Saturday’s matchup, Stoops had lost only six home games in Norman by a combined 36 points; Baylor won by 34.
“When you lose a game that way, when I say you’re outplayed, you’re outcoached and outplayed at different times on the field,” Stoops said. “They executed a lot better than we did and obviously coached a lot better than we did. That’s how you lose a game this way.”
After the game, Baylor moved up to No. 6 in both the Associated Press and Amway Coaches’ polls, behind only Mississippi State, Florida State, Alabama, Oregon and Big 12 rival TCU.
The Horned Frogs’ coach Gary Patterson did not shy away when asked about whether he could make an argument that TCU should be ranked ahead of Baylor, despite losing earlier in the season.
“It was at their place, we were up 21 points and it was a three-point ball game,” Patterson said. “I think Baylor’s a really good football team, but I don’t have a problem [being ranked ahead].”
The national conversation has already begun on Baylor vs. TCU, but Briles and his players expressed they do not care about Baylor’s positioning in the polls.
“Really, the poll that matters is the last one they put out,” Briles said. “I’m just waiting for a chance to win our next games because it’s all irrelevant if you don’t take care of business on Saturday.”
Baylor will have a bye week this weekend before playing Oklahoma State on Nov. 22 in Waco. The Bears will be hungry for revenge after the Cowboys wrecked Baylor’s national championship chances with a beatdown in Stillwater, Okla.
Baylor will play Oklahoma State at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 at McLane Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.