Quite a night in Stillwater. The Cowboys dominated Baylor both offensively and defensively, and the grades reflect it:
MIKE YURCICH: A
Phenomenal gameplan for the guy who a year ago today was coordinating Shippensburg's offense in a 37-14 loss to Winston-Salem State. Yurcich mixed in handoffs to fullback Kye Staley (two touchdowns, seven carries; he had just one carry all season); double-tight end formations; and trick plays that produced big yardage and set up two touchdowns.
RUN DEFENSE: A
Baylor came in averaging more than 300 yards rushing per game. But the Bears rushed for just 94 yards. Some of that came via sacks of quarterback Bryce Petty. But Baylor tailbacks combined for just 68 yards on 24 carries. Petty had a 27-yard run on Baylor's second possession, and tailback Devin Chafin had a 20-yard gain in the fourth quarter. In between, Baylor had no runs longer than 10 yards.
The Cowboys wore white/black/white for the first time in the Nike era. And it wasn't that great of a look. Especially on a night when Baylor wore black/white/black. For teams with school colors of vibrant orange and green, it sure was a drab matchup. One positive – OSU's numbers were in bright orange, making them easy to see.
CHELF SKILL: A
We knew Clint Chelf could run in a huge game. He showed that against Texas. By the second half Saturday, we knew Chelf could pass in a huge game. He completed his first 12 passes. But then Chelf proved that he even could catch – he hauled in a throwback pass from Josh Stewart and turned it into a 48-yard play that set up OSU's fourth touchdown.
Baylor likes to force defenders on an island in which they have to tackle in open space. And OSU did just that. Baylor receivers broke few tackles. Baylor tailbacks broke virtually none. Cornerback Tyler Patmon set the tone on Baylor's first series with open-field tackles of flanker Jay Lee and tailback Shock Linwood.
The biggest throng in OSU history, and the first sellout of the new Boone Pickens Stadium, was notable for its color. On a night when temperatures at kickoff were 35 with a 26 wind chill, the crowd of 60,218 was not only boisterous, but mostly adorned in orange. Hard for everyone to arrive with orange outerwear on a cold night, but plenty of fans did.
SHORT-YARDAGE OFFENSE: C
The Cowboys converted just three of nine third downs when they needed three yards or less. Good thing for Baylor, or the blowout might have come in the first half. But one of the conversions was a 56-yard touchdown pass to Tracy Moore four plays into the second half.
OSU receivers made some catches in traffic, notably the Moores, Tracy and Charlie, and dropped nothing. Marcel Ateman made a huge catch-and-run when the game was tight. Josh Stewart returned and chipped in with five catches, plus the pass to Chelf.