Baylor offense vs. Oklahoma State defense

Baylor’s offense has shown some signs of life with Zach Smith stepping in at quarterback in the last three games. Smith has passed for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns and has developed a go-to receiver in Denzel Mims who has made 25 catches for 533 yards and seven scores. But Baylor’s rushing game continues to be an issue since it ranks ninth in the Big 12 with 118.4 yards per game. The Cowboys’ defense has been solid by allowing 369.6 yards and 26 points per game, but the Bears should be able to put some points on the board.

Edge: Baylor

Baylor defense vs. Oklahoma State offense

The Cowboys feature one of the most dynamic offenses in the country with remarkable balance. Mason Rudolph has passed for 1,909 yards and 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions and Justice Hill ranks among the Big 12 leaders with 516 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Baylor’s defense is ninth in the Big 12 by allowing 471.8 yards and 36.2 points per game, and will have a hard time slowing down the explosive Cowboys.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Key matchup: OSU receiving corps vs. Baylor secondary

Baylor safeties Taion Sells, Davion Hall and Chris Miller are expected to play after battling injuries. But even with that trio, Baylor will have difficulty dealing with the Cowboys’ receiving corps which ranks among the best in the country. James Washington is having a great year with 28 catches for 647 yards and five touchdowns. He’s complemented by Marcell Ateman with 25 catches for 449 yards and three scores and Jalen McCleskey with 21 catches for 306 yards and four scores.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Special teams

With Drew Galitz out for the season with a knee injury suffered against Kansas State, Connor Martin will handle punting and kicking duties. Martin averaged 42 yards on three punts against the Wildcats, so Baylor coach Matt Rhule is confident he can do the job. Martin has nailed eight of 10 field goals including a 46-yarder. Oklahoma State’s Zach Sinor is averaging 42 yards per punt while Matt Ammendola has hit eight of 12 field goals. Tony Nicholson has been an excellent punt returner for the Bears as he’s averaged 12.8 yards on four returns.

Edge: Baylor

Intangibles

Even with good teams, Baylor has had difficulty winning in Stillwater. The 2011 squad featuring Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III was on the wrong end of a 59-24 blowout. The Cowboys ran over Baylor’s 2013 Big 12 championship team, 49-17, on a frigid night. The Bears beat the Cowboys in Stillwater two years ago with third-string quarterback Chris Johnson delivering in the second half. But this Baylor team is just too young and inexperienced to beat an explosive Oklahoma State squad.

Edge: Oklahoma State

Don't Miss...