Baylor is still alive in the race to be one of the two teams to make it to next month's Big 12 Championship Game, but the Bears will need a road victory against Oklahoma this weekend to remain in the race. After a disastrous three-game stretch earlier in the season, the Sooners have gotten back on track with two straight conference wins.
As we begin the final month of the regular season, the Bears will need a little help, but they will have some opportunities to climb the Big 12 standings. Baylor begins a critical home stretch with this road trip to Norman, a place that has not been kind to the program historically. The Bears have one road win over the Sooners all time, but they have the opportunity to change that on Saturday.
The Sooners deserve some credit for not packing it in after that blowout loss to Texas in the Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma has shown some resolve and picked up two straight wins since that game, and it has the opportunity to make it three in a row against this Baylor team. The trouble for the Sooners is that their rushing defense ranks dead last in the Big 12, and the Bears are averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground. Can Oklahoma overcome that deficiency and get some stops?
How to watch Oklahoma vs. Baylor live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 5 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium -- Norman, Oklahoma
TV: None | Live stream: ESPN+
Three players to watch
Richard Reese, Baylor RB: There's a chance that Reese has a field day against this lackluster Oklahoma rushing defense. Reese ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 791 rushing yards, and his 12 rushing touchdowns lead the league. The Sooners were able to hold the Iowa State rushing attack in check last week, but Reese presents a much bigger challenge than anyone in that Cyclones' backfield.
Marvin Mims, Oklahoma WR: Mims' 558 yards receiving are fourth in the conference, and he has formed a decent connection with quarterback Dillon Gabriel. The Bears' defense has been fairly solid against the pass, but Mims has the talent to make some big plays and help Oklahoma move the ball down the field in a hurry. Mims against this Dave Aranda secondary will be a lot of fun to watch on Saturday afternoon.
Gabe Hall, Baylor DL: Up front, the Baylor defense has an imposing presence in Hall, who is coming off a performance against Texas Tech that earned him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors. Through eight games, Hall has accumulated 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He will have to disrupt this Oklahoma offense right at the line of scrimmage.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor prediction
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Maybe Oklahoma has started to figure some things out in Year 1 under Brent Venables. The Sooners seem to have gotten back on track, but this visit from Baylor should put that to the test. The Bears should be able to strain an Oklahoma defense that has been exploited for much of the season, especially on the ground. I also expect the Baylor defense to get a couple of stops against the Sooners. Not only does Baylor cover, but it gets a rare win in Norman. Prediction: Baylor +3.5