Saturday, November 6, 2010
Halftime analysis: OSU 24, Baylor 0
By David Ubben
STILLWATER, Okla. -- The score's a pretty good reflection of this one. Baylor got deep into Oklahoma State territory once and turned it over, but Oklahoma State dropped what should have been an easy touchdown pass. This is a pretty clear-cut, 24-point game that Oklahoma State has dominated from the start. If not for a late missed field goal by Lou Groza Award candidate Dan Bailey -- his first of the season -- it could be 27-0.
Turning point: On Baylor's second drive of the game, Oklahoma State cornerback Brodrick Brown stripped Baylor receiver Josh Gordon and recovered the fumble to set up Oklahoma State's first touchdown. That drive put the Cowboys up 10-0 and on their way to a great first-half performance on both sides of the ball.
Turning point II: Baylor had a wide-open Krys Buerck in the end zone, but Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III underestimated the speed of Oklahoma State safety Johnny Thomas, who came from the opposite side of the field to intercept the pass and keep Baylor off the scoreboard with just minutes remaining in the first half.
Stat of the half: Baylor turnovers: 3. Oklahoma State: 0. The Cowboys defense has played great, but all three of the turnovers have been because of plays the defense made, and without them, this could be a two-touchdown or 10-point lead.
Best player in the half: Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. He's had all day in the pocket, been able to hit receivers for short passes and been accurate when he's looked downfield. He's completed 20-of-25 passes for 244 yards to seven different receivers.
Best player in the half II: Oklahoma State's secondary. Brown's fumble and Thomas' interception have the Cowboys on top.
Best call: Mike Gundy elected to try and convert a 4th-and-2 near midfield, and Baylor's defense lost Justin Blackmon over the top. Blackmon dropped the pass, but the defense kept Baylor off the board on the ensuing possession. Obviously, the execution wasn't there, but from a decision-making standpoint, Gundy's call and Weeden's decision to go deep should have paid off.
What Oklahoma State needs to do: Everything it's been doing. Don't take chances on defense, prevent the big play, and hand the ball to Kendall Hunter in the second half. He'll take the Cowboys home.
What Baylor needs to do: Keep trying to stretch the field. Oklahoma State has reined in Griffin's legs, but they've had plenty of opportunities for long plays down the field through the air. Griffin hasn't been accurate with those passes, but you have to keep forcing the issue. There still has to be some patience in the offense, but Baylor's going to need at least five second-half touchdowns to win this game.