WACO, Texas â€” Not the same old Baylor. But the same old Baylor result.
An Oklahoma football team desperate for road-game affirmation got exactly that Saturday night in Floyd Casey Stadium, its home away from home.
The Sooners never have lost in Waco (or for that matter, anywhere else to Baylor) and rolled the Bears 53-24. Now OU goes to Stillwater next Saturday night knowing it can play top-shelf football away from Owen Field.
These Sooners had yet to prove that in 2010.
But Baylor, the tonic for many a struggling football team over the years, showed up on the schedule just in the nick of time for a much-needed shot of Sooner confidence.
Play like this, and the Sooners can beat the Cowboys for the Big 12 South title.
"We have confidence," Bob Stoops said. "We had confidence coming in here. But it sure doesn't hurt coming in and playing so well."
Don't be misled by the final score, which was deflated after the Sooners took a 50-10 lead midway through the third quarter.
OU finally showed road-game dominance.
* Offense was virtually unstoppable. After Landry Jones threw an early interception on a fourth-down screen pass, the Sooners scored on eight of their next 11 possessions.
Even when OU bogged down near the goal line, which it did three times in the red zone, there was a silver lining. Jimmy Stevens nailed three field goals ranging from 25 to 33 yards.
* Defense was stingy until the fourth quarter, when everyone but stud Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin had lost interest.
Baylor scored 30 points on Texas and Texas A&M, 47 on Kansas State. But through three quarters against the Sooners, Baylor had more possessions (11) than points (10).
"On the road, you gotta play great defense," said defensive end Jeremy Beal said. "The defense did great ... gave us momentum throughout the game."
* Kicking game was superb.
Tress Way's punts pinned Baylor deep, OU's coverage was outstanding and Stevens' kicks looked like they could be true from beyond his normal 40-yard range.
Such an all-around display was nowhere near the case at Cincinnati (a squeaker of a victory), Missouri or Texas A&M (discouraging defeats).
These Sooners had looked downright sorry on the road. But against the best Baylor team of the Big 12 era, a Baylor team bowl-bound with seven victories, the Sooners won in Waco with as much ease as Stoops' previous OU juggernauts, all against much-weaker Baylor squads.
"We knew if we won the last two games, we go to the Big 12 Championship," Beal said. "We really wanted to go out and play well on the road. I think we did that."
The truth about Baylor is it's a nice little team, and Art Briles is a miracle worker to get this team to a bowl, but the competition and the atmosphere multiply to the extreme next Saturday.
"Exciting," Stoops called the matchup in Stillwater. "We're very mindful of how Oklahoma State's an excellent team."
Before Saturday night, the high-rolling Cowboys seemed a cinch to win Bedlam.
Now, who knows?
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.