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Oklahoma football: Despite the loss of Robert Griffin III, the Baylor Bears remain potent on offense

Wide receiver Terrance Williams has 10 touchdowns this season; Nick Florence has thrown 25 TD passes, averages 377.4 yards per game
by Jason Kersey Published: November 4, 2012

Dropped passes by open receivers prevented Iowa State from gathering any early momentum Saturday, when Oklahoma beat the Cyclones 35-20.

With under five minutes left in the first half, Iowa State's Jarvis West dropped a ball inside the Sooners' 10-yard line that could've put Iowa State in good position to score a tying touchdown.

If Baylor quarterback Nick Florence and his receivers find similar holes in the OU defense next weekend in Norman, the Sooners might just find themselves in a familiar sort of game against a familiar opponent.

A little less than a year ago, Baylor quarterback and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III torched the Sooner secondary for 479 yards and four touchdowns, including the game winner with 8 seconds remaining in Baylor's 45-38 upset victory in Waco, Texas.

Today, Griffin is safely in the NFL. But Terrance Williams, who caught the last-second, 34-yard touchdown that killed OU's 2011 national-title hopes, is still a Bear. In eight games this season, Williams has 71 receptions, 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Tevin Reese, too, is back for Baylor; last year, Reese caught four passes for 84 yards and a score against the Sooners.

Griffin's replacement hasn't been bad, though — Florence has tossed 25 touchdown passes and averages 377.4 passing yards this season.

Mike Stoops' return as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator has yielded a secondary that, through eight games, has shown clear improvement from the mid-to-late 2011 collapse that not only cost Oklahoma its shot at both conference and national titles, but also pride.

Many eyes Saturday will be fixated on safety Javon Harris, who shouldered a majority of blame for the Baylor meltdown last season.

Harris played free safety then, but Mike Stoops moved him in the offseason to strong safety, a position better suited for the hard-hitting senior.

The switch appears to have paid off; Harris leads the Sooners with four interceptions, and is the team's second-leading tackler.

Saturday, Iowa State scored both of its touchdowns in the second half on the ground, but the Cyclones' passing game improved after halftime, too; quarterback Steele Jantz completed 14 of his 24 second-half pass attempts.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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