Oklahoma State-Baylor: A look at three important questions for Saturday's game

Can OSU slow the Baylor passing game? Can Clint Chelf run on Baylor? Berry Tramel takes a look at the key matchups for Saturday's showdown in Stillwater.
by Berry Tramel Modified: November 18, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: November 17, 2013

OSU-Baylor play Saturday in a virtual Big 12 semifinal game. The key matchups that will determine the outcome:

* CAN OSU SLOW THE BAYLOR PASSING GAME?

The Bears are averaging 384.4 passing yards per game. Texas Tech is actually averaging more, 400.2, but Baylor's pass game is much more effective. Baylor is averaging just 31 passes a game; Tech is averaging 56 passes per game.

OSU's pass defense has played well in its two biggest tests, Tech and Texas. The Cowboys combined for five interceptions in those two games and allowed just two TD passes.

Baylor and OSU rank 1-2 in Big 12 pass efficiency defense. If Justin Gilbert and Co. can hold their own against Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the Cowboys go a long way toward victory.

* CAN CLINT CHELF RUN ON BAYLOR?

OSU's offensive renaissance this season is tied to Chelf's effectiveness running. He had a 67-yard TD run that broke open the game at Tech. Chelf gained 95 yards on 10 carries at Texas, scoring two touchdowns.

Chelf's passing has been spotty, but the league has few QBs who are true dual-threats. Petty and Chelf are the best. Kansas State's Jake Waters probably is No. 3; he rushed for 43 yards on 10 carries against Baylor, though his passing was a paltry 6-of-15. Chelf should be able to throw much better than that, opening some running lanes.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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