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How do you stop Baylor's Robert Griffin III?

Nebraska's Taylor Martinez led his team to a win over OSU. This week, the Cowboys face a quarterback with a similar style, but Griffin's arm makes him even more dangerous.
By JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: November 4, 2010 at 8:31 am •  Published: November 3, 2010

The similarities between Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez are obvious.

And overstated.

Yes, Griffin, like Martinez, looms as a game-changing quarterback who is dangerous and elusive and capable of carving up defenses with his arm or his legs.

So their styles are similar, sounding an alarm among Oklahoma State fans, since Martinez crafted the Huskers' 51-41 win inside Boone Pickens Stadium.

Yet they're also strikingly different.

And different, in Griffin's case, may be more difficult.

"He can do so many things," said Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young.

Martinez is an option engineer who can also throw, as the Cowboys fatally found out, although it was a career passing day for the Nebraska freshman.

Griffin can — and will — run, yet it's not his first priority. As the trigger man in Baylor's spread offense, he's attacking through the air whenever possible.

Martinez runs almost as much as he throws, with 112 rushing attempts and 120 passes through eight games.

Griffin's pass-to-run ratio is roughly 3-to-1, with 294 throws and 92 runs. And he's accounted for 2,995 yards of total offense, compared to Martinez's 2,047.

Martinez will pass if dared, which is what he did to OSU.

With Griffin, where do you dare?

"He runs like Taylor Martinez but is probably a better thrower," said Cowboys end Ugo Chinasa.

No probably about it.

And therein lies the challenge of dealing with Griffin, who understands his importance in the Bears offense, if not Baylor's complete rise to respectability.

"As I am, we are," Griffin said after directing last week's win over Texas.

DEFENDING ROBERT GRIFFIN

The Oklahoman's John Helsley examines five factors Oklahoma State must consider in dealing with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin:

1. Double wide. Unlike Nebraska's more traditional power option look, Baylor spreads the field — to extremes.

"Baylor will stress you more than other teams," Young said, "because their wide receivers will line up three and four yards from the boundary. Most people are going to be two or three yards from the numbers. Theirs are clear outside near the sideline."

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