I’ve watched in person and on TV many a Baylor Football loss (more sad games than I’d like to recall). I won’t even get into the horrors that were the 2016 (remember those coaches aside from the greatest white man ever Jim Grobe?) and 2017 seasons and even part of last year. Something about yesterday’s 24-14 defeat against Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0) in Stillwater after a program-defining win last week brought back memories from those prior mentioned years in that the Bears (4-1, 2-1) essentially beat themselves. A culmination of horrible offensive playcalling, truly undisciplined penalties, and a barely existing offense handed Baylor their first loss of the season in a location where they’ve always struggled (the Bears hadn’t won a matchup in Boone Pickens Stadium since 1939 until former QB Chris Johnson’s miracle game in 2015). Ultimately, Baylor should have been the better team but continuously shot themselves in the foot and left with a loss. Because the offense barely gained yardage I won’t go into the play-by-play as usual, so instead I want to go over the drives that showed promise and/or got us a score and finally end with my favorite stats. Junior QB Gerry Bohanon completed 13 of 27 passing attempts for 173 yards and he added 9 carries for 13 yards and 1 TD. The Bears noted fewer total offensive yards than Oklahoma State with 280 to their 401 and Baylor had 9 penalties for a loss of 58 yards.
The Bears didn’t score until the second half but in the first half, Bohanon primarily targeted senior WR Drew Estrada as just 2 of his catches resulted in 37 and 40 yards. On Oklahoma State’s second drive of the 1st quarter, senior CB Raleigh Texada intercepted OSU QB Spencer Sanders’ pass with a 2-yard return followed by senior LB Bryson Jackson’s QB hurry. At the start of the 2nd quarter, Texada added a QB hurry and senior S JT Woods intercepted Sanders’ pass for Woods’ 3rd interception of the season. Sanders threw his 3rd pick of the game snagged this time by sophomore LB Dillon Doyle who returned it 5 yards. The Bears got their first score on the board 4:46 into the 3rd quarter as Bohanon completed an 8 yard pass to Estrada before throwing an incomplete to Estrada. Smith rushed for 0 yards but on 4th and 2, broke through a hole in the DL and assisted by senior WR R.J. Sneed’s blocking, ran for 55 yards and a TD to decrease OSU’s lead to 14-7. On the following Oklahoma State series, Sanders was sacked for a loss of 3 yards by sophomore DT Siaki Ika and senior DT Cole Maxwell. The Cowboys kicked a field goal to go up 17-7 early in the 4th quarter, but after a delay of game penalty and Bohanon’s incomplete pass, Smith rushed for 24 yards on 2 carries and Bohanon nailed senior WR Tyquan Thornton with a 44-yard bomb. Bohanon rushed for 4 yards and Smith added 1 before Bohanon ran the ball in on a 1-yard TD and a 17-14 score. On the subsequent OSU drive, sophomore LB Matt Jones forced a Cowboys fumble, but the offense recovered it. Oklahoma State scored a TD to increase their lead to 24-14 with 2 minutes left, securing the victory.
4 Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including Smith (10 carries for 97 yards and 1 TD), Bohanon (9 carries for 13 yards and 1 TD), senior RB Trestan Ebner (8 carries for 0 yards), and Estrada (2 carries for a loss of 3 yards). 5 received passes including Estrada (6 catches for 88 yards), Thornton (3 catches for 52 yards), junior TE Ben Sims (2 catches for 15 yards), senior WR Josh Fleeks (1 catch for 14 yards), and sophomore TE Drake Dabney (1 catch for 4 yards). The defense did spectacularly, amassing 83 tackles (OSU had 54) with 8 for a loss of 16 yards (Doyle, Jones, Maxwell, senior S Christian Morgan, Woods, senior LB Ashton Logan, Ika, senior S Jalen Pitre, sophomore DL Gabe Hall), 1 forced fumble (Jones), 3 interceptions returned 7 yards (Texada, Woods, Doyle), 3 pass breakups (Texada, Morgan, junior DL Brayden Utley), and 3 QB hurries (Texada, Jackson).
Baylor will face West Virginia (2-3, 0-2) in Waco on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT).