OU-Baylor report card: Belldozer gets an F

The Sooners' offense was awful from the start. You had to look hard for silver linings, and the grades reflect it.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 7, 2013

Blake Bell: D. Bell's passes were mostly off-target. He completed just 15 of 35 passes, with two interceptions, one of them the killer at the end of the first half that allowed Baylor to tack on a touchdown that made it a 24-5 game. Bell didn't get a lot of help from his coaches, who again brought him along slowly, with no throws past 10 yards until the second quarter. But Bell's running was no factor, either. He even fell, untouched, while running an old-fashioned option play that appeared to be prime for a big gain on the first snap of the second half.

Jalen Saunders: A. The Sooners were woefully shy of playmakers. But Saunders gave it a try. His 55-yard kickoff return after a safety set up the Sooners at the Baylor 12-yard line in the  second quarter, though OU didn't get around to scoring. And then Heupel took off the shackles from Bell and had him air it out, Saunders made nifty grab for a 28-yard gain that led to a field goal. That about covers the offensive highlights.

Higher authority: A. Baylor called out the big dogs for what some called the biggest game in Waco history. Grant Teaff delivered the pregame invocation. The 21-year Baylor coach (1972-92) produced the Miracle on the Brazos team that won the 1974 Southwest Conference title coming off a 2-9 season. Now Teaff is executive director of the American Football Coaches Association in Waco.

 

Run defense: D. It's bad enough that OU allowed Shock Linwood to run for 182 yards on 23 carries. But consider that Linwood isn't even the Baylor starter. Linwood replaced Lache Seastrunk, who went down with an injury, in the first half. And it wasn't all missed tackles. Much of the time, Baylor just blocked or schemed Linwood to running room.

 

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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