Baylor quarterback Bryce Perry unleashed a couple of long lightning bolts in the opening minutes of a game threatened by turbulent weather along the banks of the Brazos River and led the Bears to a 49-21 victory against Oklahoma State tonight (Saturday). The crucial victory moved Baylor’s season record to 9-1 and kept them in a first place tie for the Big 12 football championship.
Lightning within five miles of the stadium caused the Fox cameramen to lock down their cameras and flee from the field for their own safety. But Perry’s onfield thunder with two long touchdown passes set the tone for the game as the Bears raced to a 14-0 lead which they never relinquished throughout the game.
Baylor is ranked No. 7 in the nation, according to the College Playoff Committee. A Fox sportscaster said after the game the Committee was being ridiculous for punishing Baylor for an allegedly “weak nonconference” schedule. He pointed out that Mississippi State is ranked fourth in the nation by the committee and the Starkville contingent has a weaker nonconference schedule than does Baylor.
Baylor, TCU and Kansas State are all three tied for first in the Big 12 with 6-1 conference records. The Committee obviously doesn’t like Baylor because it even has the Bears ranked below the Frogs who Baylor defeated 61-58.
Petty and the Bears played as if they weren’t disturbed by the Committee’s hostility toward them. Petty completed 18 of 29 passes for 262 yards. He connected on a 65-yard bomb to Jay Lee for the first touchdown almost before the Cowboys were off the bus.
Petty followed that up on the next possession with a 54-yard TD pass to Corey Coleman on the second possession to take control of the game before the stunned OSU team could collect their senses.
Baylor also displayed a strong running attack as Burkburnett High School graduate Devin Chafin sprinted for three touchdowns in addition to compiling 106 yards. Shock Linwood raced for 113 yards and one touchdown for the underrated Bears.
The Bears play Texas Tech in Jerry’s World next Saturday followed by another showdown game with Kansas State Dec. 6 in Waco.
If the Bears can win out they will win their second consecutive Big 12 Championship under Coach Art Briles. Briles said of the Bears’ early scores, “We felt like we had to get it while we could. Be real aggressive while the ball was dry and try to get points on the board because we felt rain was coming.”
Oklahoma State is 5-6 on the year and can still earn a bowl berth with a victory against Oklahoma University in the Bedlam Series showdown at Norman. The Cowboys found their quarterback of the future tonight as Mason Rudolph was 13 of 25 passing for 281 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Rudolph, a graduate of Northwest High School, in Rock Hill, South Carolina fired a 68-yard touchdown pass to James Washington to keep the Cowpokes competitive. He later threw a 38-yard pass to Washington which set up a two-yard touchdown run by Rennie Childs.
Rudolph removed his redshirt to start against Baylor. Normal starter Daxx Garman was in uniform and wearing a baseball cap on the sideline. Coach Mike Gundy didn’t explain why he started the highly-recruited freshman ahead of Garman tonight.
While rain fell for hours before the game and throughout much of the game, there was a break in the bad weather at kickoff time in McLane Stadium which allowed the Bears to strike early and grab the momentum.
Baylor defensive back Orion Stewart ended OSU’s last chance when he cut in front of a pass and intercepted it late in the game. Petty then led the Bears on their final touchdown drive. He scored the last touchdown on a 21-yard run which he viewed as redemption for falling down on the way to a touchdown against OSU in last year’s game.
It’s unfortunate the Committee is drinking deeply from the anti-Baylor cool-aid they’re being served at their meetings since the Bears have earned a shot at the playoffs for the national championship this year. Despite that, Baylor still has a lot to play for. They can make school history by winning a second consecutive Big 12 football championship.
If they keep winning the Bears can also qualify for a major bowl game. There has still been no official word from the Big 12 Conference offices as to the status of any review of the refereeing of the West Virginia-Baylor game which was controversial to say the least.
TCU was idle this week, but will head to Austin for a major showdown with the improving University of Texas Longhorns. Under Coach Charlie Strong’s leadership, the Steers are bowl-eligible and would love nothing more than to upset the Frogs.
Oklahoma unleashed freshman sensation Samaje Perine on Kansas Saturday during their 44-7 defeat of Kansas at Owen Field. Perine rushed for 427 yards to break the alltime record for college football. OU improved to 8-3 on the year while KU fell to 1-7.
No. 12 Kansas State defeated West Virginia 26-20 to continue its march to the conference championship game against Baylor.