Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was succinct when describing what the Cowboys need to do to counter Baylor's potent offense, which is averaging 61.2 points and nearly 685 yards per game.
“We have to score, because they're going to score,” Gundy said.
Different strategies are often debated in how to neutralize fast-paced and fast-scoring spread offenses. So should OSU manage the game on that side of the ball? Use the ground game to churn the clock and keep the Baylor offense off the field?
Or try to keep pace with the Bears' quick-strike attack?
The Cowboys take: be themselves.
“I don't think you sit here and try to overthink it too much,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “We have to execute our offense. And if we take care of our business, things will be just fine.
“Our players understand what's important, and that's our own play.”
Cowboy receiver Charlie Moore added that he didn't feel “pressure” to match Baylor's eye-popping production.
“We know we have to put up points,” Moore said. “But at the same time, our defense has been doing so great this year.”
OPPONENT WATCH: BEARS DT ROTATION A KEY
Much of Baylor's emergence as a national contender can be credited to the Bears' improved defense, which features more speed and depth than in years past.
That includes the big boys up front.
Baylor has a bit of a revolving door at defensive tackle, as sophomores Beau Blackshear and Suleiman Masumbuko are the regular starters while freshmen Andrew Billings and Byron Bonds and sophomore Trevor Clemons-Valdez rotate in on a consistent basis.
“It makes a huge, significant difference,” Masumbuko told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “We can be ready to go, even in overtime if need be. It's great to know that we can play a full game and still go in Sunday morning and (lift weights) like we do.”
Blackshear leads that group statistically with 20 tackles (3.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks and one quarterback hurry.