No. 13 Baylor hosts No. 8 OU in top-15 showdown

Senior wide receiver Tyquan Thornton breaks away from West Virginia's defense on Oct. 9 in McLane Stadium. Brittany Tankersley | Photographer

By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor

After a stunning upset at the hands of Texas Christian University, No. 13 Baylor looks to right the ship when they take on No. 8 University of Oklahoma as part of FOX Big Noon Kickoff at 11 a.m. this Saturday at McLane Stadium.

While the Bears (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) realize they can’t change the past and are completely focused on what lies ahead, junior kicker Noah Rauschenberg said last weekend’s loss is still frustrating.

“It was very hard given the circumstances, who we were playing and just how it happened. We know we didn’t play our best game,” Rauschenberg said. “So it was just frustrating to know that it was a game we could have won, a game we should have won and just how it went down.”

This Saturday will be the first time Big Noon Kickoff is in Waco and just the fourth time Baylor has hosted a national game day show. The last time was in 2019 when Baylor hosted OU and led 28-3 at halftime before ultimately falling 34-31 for their first and only loss of the regular season.

“Very excited for FOX coming,” Head coach Dave Aranda said. “I think the opportunity to put Baylor football right out in front there with their TV show, and having folks there and cheering … to be able to show all aspects of that, to anyone that wants to tune in, I think is way key for us.”

Baylor has been unstoppable at home this season, posting a perfect 5-0 record after taking down teams such as the University of Texas, Iowa State University and No. 14 Brigham Young University.

“We have a lot of confidence at home,” Rauschenberg said. “We kind of get to our routine and we know what’s going to happen, we know where everything is. It’s just that kind of sense of normalcy and routine that just helps us stay locked in, helps us focus and just get ready.”

Led by freshman quarterback Caleb Willams, who won the starting job over redshirt sophomore Spencer Rattler during their comeback win against UT, OU brings to McLane a high-flying Sooner (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) offense that averages 42.9 points per game ranking No. 11 in the nation and No. 1 in the conference with 477 yards per game.

“[Williams] has injected their offense with some firepower,” Aranda said. “Caleb’s ability to hit receivers in stride with tight coverage stands out.”

Something will have to give though, as the Bears are holding opponents to 8.5 below their scoring averages and is one of only eight teams to not allow more than 30 points in a contest. Baylor also continues to be opportunistic on defense, forcing a turnover in 17 consecutive games.

Big Noon Kickoff will be live from McLane Stadium from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Saturday morning on FOX. Coverage will lead right into Baylor’s 11 a.m. kickoff with Oklahoma, also on FOX. Baylor will be hosting a camp out at McLane Stadium beginning Friday night at 10 p.m. for the event.