10 quick thoughts on Oklahoma’s 30-23 Big 12 Championship overtime win over Baylor.
Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma 30, Baylor 23 OT
10. It wasn’t always beautiful, it was ragged at times, and it looked like it was on the edge of imploding at various parts, but no one will remember that. Baylor put on a fantastic performance to stay alive and force overtime, Oklahoma did a fantastic job of clamping down when it absolutely had to, and this turned out to be exactly what you want in a conference championship game. These things might be gimmicks, and this matchup was done already in Waco, but it was a whole lot of fun.
9. That’s almost it for these two head coaches, right? Lincoln Riley and Matt Rhule are destined for the NFL, with both of them looking like they could fit right in at the friendly confines of AT&T Stadium. This was an elite coaching matchup in an elite championship game.
8. Baylor was badly outplayed, was way undermanned talent and depth-wise, and yet it still came within an overtime of probably going to the College Football Playoff. Even with the two massive disappointments against Oklahoma, it was a special season and a special performance in the Big 12 Championship.
7. Baylor had just three really big pass plays, and that was it. The offense finished with just eight first downs, 265 yards of total offense, and three quarterbacks getting their shot. Outside of a 81-yard touchdown from Trestan Ebner, a 78-yard catch from Chris Platt, and a 33-yard touchdown catch from Tyquan Thornton, Baylor only managed 70 yards of total offense. Even with the close battle and the overtime drama …
6. The Sooner defense had a strong game. It might have allowed too many big plays, and the team struggled to put the game away, but the group lived behind the line. Kenneth Murray led the way with ten tackles with a sack and three tackles for loss, and the team finished with six sacks and 15 tackles for loss. It bothered the Baylor quarterbacks all game long.
5. Really, Baylor training staff? Charlie Brewer bounced his head off of the turf, stumbled and wobbled off the field, reportedly said, “I’m fine,” goes back in, and it took the official to go to the sideline and point out that the BU starting quarterback was very much not fine. And then Brewer was out for the rest of the game. That was an awful look.
4. Gerry Bohanon came in for Brewer and only completed 4-of-15 passes, but he connected on a touchdown throw and helped keep the Bears in the game. Jacob Zeno stepped in and only hit two of his six throws, but he looked cool and calm with the two very, very big pass plays to help force overtime. The OU D turned things up a few notches in overtime, but Zeno showed why he’s soon going to be a big deal.
3. And there’s CeeDee Lamb. It’s been weeks since he did much of anything, and he wanted the ball more. Eight catches, 173 yards – he made the impact he needed to. However, 71 of those yards came early on, and then the Baylor secondary clamped down. There were a whole slew of midrange pass plays, but there weren’t any huge ones outside of Lamb’s
2. Four massive conference championship games, four wins, four College Football Playoffs (maybe). Jalen Hurts has cemented his place among the greatest college quarterbacks to ever do this, even if he did have a few issues against the Bears. He wasn’t perfect, but he completed 17-of-24 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown with a pick, and he ran 23 times or 38 yards … and he came through in overtime.
1. Oklahoma did it again. It was pushed, it showed the toughness needed to fight thorough in the clutch, and it came up with the defensive stops that weren’t there last season. Is this really the fourth-best team in college football?
At the very least, it finished 12-1 for the third straight season, won its fifth-straight Big 12 championship, and it put itself in a position for a third -straight trip to the College Football Playoff and the fourth time in the last five years.
That’s pretty good.