Well that went pretty much how any OSU fan could have wanted it to go. The Pokes pretty much dominated Baylor in every phase of the game. And by the looks of things, the national media actually took notice as OSU is now in the top 10 in the BCS standings. With OU losing on the road to A&M and Texas getting embarrassed by Kansas State, OSU is now in the driver seat and has a very good chance to win out. Not bad for what was billed as a rebuilding year and had a lot of people (including myself) predicting eight wins or less. But first thing's first--let's continue to lay it on those Baylor cubbies. Click the jump for a recap.
Everyone got involved. When the team finishes with almost 300 rushing yards and Kendall Hunter only has 69 of them, that's saying something. Randle finished with 94 and Jeremy Smith finally got his opportunity to shine as he turned in 50 of his own. Obviously, Justin Blackmon had yet another ridiculous game with over 170 yards receiving and one sweet reverse taken 69 yards to the house. But even past him, receivers turned in great efforts. Bo Bowling finished with 101 yards and Colton Chelf turned in 79 as well. In fact, eight different players caught balls Saturday showing that Weeden was looking all over the field. Speaking of the MDM, three TDs and 435 yards through the air. Even more important was his accuracy. 34 of 42 and at least three of the incompletions were perfectly thrown balls that were dropped. Sorry, Baylor. You came in to Stillwater on the wrong weekend. By the way, is the flea flicker becoming an every game play now?
Great gameplan for the most part. Bill Young and Co. looked like they knew what Baylor was going to do for most of the game and took advantage. Every single time Baylor threw one of their pussy flare screens there was an OSU defender inches away from batting it down mid-delivery. Although most were completed, the OSU defense did a great job tackling in the open field and making sure the Bears didn't get much from them. Once again, Johnny Thomas had a great game. Six tackles, one fumble recovery, one interception. He is definitely looking like the most improved player of the year so far. Overall, this is the best the defense has played together as a unit. The communication was evident, the tackling always came with two or three guys, and everyone just seemed to be in sync with eachother. When Brandon Weeden finishes with more rushing yards than Robert Griffin, you know your defense did a great job.
Don't look now but it seems like OSU finally has a coverage team worthy of playing in the Big 12. Baylor only averaged a little over 20 yards per return and never took one for more than 26 yards. Quinn Sharp only had to punt once but he absolutely crushed it for a net of 59 yards. Justin Gilbert finally had the chance to show us all his 4.3 speed. My gosh, as soon as he hit the hole (Mmmm...), you knew he was gone. There was nobody that even had a chance to touch him on his kickoff touchdown return. I think everyone witnessed what a stud that kid is going to be over the next four years. The only blemish was Dan Bailey's field goal miss although I'm still not totally convinced that a Baylor defender didn't get a piece of it on its way up. I may have to try to find a replay to be sure or maybe someone in the comment section can tell me what they saw. Either way, it was a great overall performance for special teams as a whole.
Justin Blackmon. This was tough because of Weeden's record breaking performance but Blackmon was seriously a man among boys on Saturday. That reverse he ran was something special. I had no idea he had wheels like that. And as Sam pointed out previously, his shining moment was stopping the Baylor defenders from celebrating what they thought was a pass breakup by politely showing them the yellow flag they earned for pass interference. Justin keeps it classy when he brings you back to reality.