Here are a few quick observations from OSU’s 49-17 win over Baylor in Stillwater:
1. Clint Chelf: My goodness, Clint Chelf. The senior was simply outstanding, not throwing an incompletion until 1:24 before halftime. Chelf outplayed a Heisman Trophy candidate in Bryce Petty from start to finish. Chelf had a Brandon Weeden-esque performance, attacking downfield with confidence and finishing the first half 12-of-13. Overall, Chelf was 19-of-25 for 370 yards and three touchdowns.
2. Off the script: Here’s the scenario: Scoreless game and OSU’s offense starts on its 1-yard line. What do the Cowboys do? How about go downfield with Clint Chelf? How about give the ball off to Kye Staley, who had more carries on the Cowboys’ 99-yard scoring drive (four) than he’d all season (one) up to that point (and two touchdowns, to boot)? Hats off to the OSU staff for going against the grain and surprising the Bears with as good an offensive gameplan as we’ve seen all season from the Cowboys. And hats off to Mike Yurcich and Mike Gundy for taking chances (wide receivers throwing passes? flea flickers?!) in one of the biggest games in school history.
3. OSU defense: The Cowboys held Baylor to season lows across the board. Did anyone think Baylor would have just three points at halftime? Glenn Spencer drew up the defensive gameplan of the season in college football, slowing down Baylor’s passing game despite having his best defensive back (Justin Gilbert) limited because of injury. OSU won the turnover battle 3-0 with three fumble recoveries – including a 78-yard fumble return score by Tyler Patmon — proving it has one of the best defenses not just in the Big 12, but the nation. Yes, Baylor was missing key players on offense, but OSU exploited it aggressively.
4. Missed chances: The Cowboys weren’t perfect. Caleb Lavey had an interception go through his hands in the first quarter. On the previous OSU offensive possession, the Cowboys were stoned on fourth-and-1 near midfield. But Baylor’s missed chances killed them in the first half. Trailing 7-0, the Bears fumbled at the OSU 1-yard line in the first quarter after a stout stand by the Cowboys’ defense. A few plays before the fumble by Shock Linwood, Bryce Petty could have walked into the end zone on a quarterback keeper, but tripped up at the 1. That play was critical, as OSU followed with its 99-yard march.