By Cody Soto
No. 7 Baylor football battled past two obstacles Saturday night in the team’s 49-28 win at McLane Stadium: Oklahoma State and Mother Nature. The Bears used a big rushing offense to finish the game after rain continued to make its presence.
“It was a fun game; I don’t think I’ve ever played in the rain,” senior nickelback Collin Brence said. “It was different circumstances, but we still had to play fast, physical and with knowledge.”
Most importantly, Baylor was able to avenge its 49-17 loss last season to the Cowboys last year in Stillwater, Okla. The nation’s top offense had 579 yards behind a powerful run game. While Oklahoma State outgained the Bears in passing, Baylor used its 317 rushing yards to maintain their lead.
OSU’s quarterback Mason Rudolph racked up 281 passing yards for two touchdowns for Oklahoma State in his first collegiate start.
“I thought Oklahoma State played extremely well,” head coach Art Briles said. “They had a good plan on both sides of the ball. Anytime you have somebody trying to get bowl eligible with one foot off the edge of the cliff, they’re going to fight to stay alive.”
Senior quarterback Bryce Petty completed 18 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns, but he gave up two interceptions in the matchup. Petty had only thrown four interceptions this season before Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State.
Sophomore running backs Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin combined for 219 rushing yards and four touchdowns for the Bears. Freshman running back Johnny Jefferson added 26 yards in the win, and several receivers saw action in the back field as the rain limited the passing game.
Sophomore receiver Corey Coleman had 75 yards on three catches, followed by junior receiver Jay Lee with 73. Both saw the end zone early as Baylor took a 14-0 lead with touchdown passes to Lee and Coleman during the team’s first two opening drives.
“Oklahoma State beat us last year because we had a slow start, so we needed to hit them fast and go after them at the beginning,” Coleman said.
Oklahoma State did not go away. Desmond Roland capitalized on an interception from Petty to score on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to seven. Chafin ended a 19-long drive, the most plays on a drive of the season, and ran in for a two-yard touchdown score late in the opening quarter.
Chafin later added a seven-yard run to put Baylor in front 28-7. Just before halftime, Rudolph found David Glidden from eight yards out to make it a 28-14 ball game going into the locker room.
Linwood would be the only scorer of the third quarter for both teams and punched in an 11-yard run to push the Bears to a 35-14 lead. Chafin again added points on the board on the opening drive of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 28.
Things looked sloppy for the Baylor defense, and Oklahoma State was able to take advantage of short fields and pass interference calls to score on two drives, taking it a 42-28 game. Things seemed to be in favor of the Cowboys until sophomore safety Orion Stewart picked off a pass from Rudolph to give possession and momentum back to Baylor.
Remembering his tripping mistake at Stillwater, Okla., the last time the team played the Cowboys, Petty punched in a 21-yard touchdown run on fourth down to seal the deal for the Bears. Redemption was felt after that score, Petty said.
“I think there was 12 steps I took, or eight,” Petty said. “Every single one of those steps I kept thinking, ‘Don’t trip. Don’t trip. Don’t trip.’ It was great that it ended like that because we needed a touchdown.”
With the win, Baylor looks forward to continuing its playoff campaign and another Big 12 championship. It was a big win for the team, Briles said.
“I was really proud that our guys took care of business and finished the game against a good football team that’s had misfortune down the stretch,” Briles said. “They’re a team that we haven’t had an easy time with the past four or five years, so it’s a big win for our guys and I’m really proud of him.”
The Bears get to work right away as they travel to Arlington on Saturday to play Texas Tech in the Texas Farm Bureau Shootout at AT&T Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.