The Oklahoma Sooners and the Baylor Bears are preparing for a rematch on Saturday in AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas at 12:00 pm EST. These two teams played less than a month ago in Waco, where the game was the epitome of a tale of two halves.
Baylor jumped out to 28-3 lead in the second quarter and they held a 31-10 lead going into halftime. Unfortunately for the Bears, they failed to score in the second half and that eventually led to a 34-31 loss at the hands of Jalen Hurts and the Sooners.
I am really interested in this dichotomy because it isn’t really clear which of the halves was more predictive of the future result in the rematch. The Sooners are 9-point favorites on a neutral field, which means that Vegas believes that the Bears are the frauds in the first game, but we do have to acknowledge the fact that the Bears were bigger underdogs in a night game at home than they will be in a rematch on a neutral field. This does indicate that they did gain some sort of respect for their first performance.
I cannot find the actual rarity behind scoring 31 in the first half and then 0 in the second half barring an incredible change in the weather, but I can promise you that it is an incredibly rare feat. I think that addressing this oddity in the first game will tell us a lot about the rematch.
Tale of Two Halves
In the second half, Baylor averaged 6.43 yards per play, which is not going to result in 0 points very often. They started the half with a 32 yard play that resulted in a lost fumble. They then had a few really strange instances that resulted in a 3 and out.
On two of the next three drives, Oklahoma committed penalties to give them yardage for one first down to start the drive and then they locked up the Bears offense to force them to punt. The final possession gained 35 yards before resulting in a pick that sealed the victory for the Sooners.
Turnovers killed Oklahoma in the first half and they resulted in a 2-play, 27-yard TD drive and a 1-play, 9-yard TD drive, The Bears will not be able to rely on this at all in the second matchup, but OU is generally good for a turnover or two a game with Hurts at the helm, who has had turnover issues historically.
When you look at the surface statistics of the last game, Oklahoma gained 525 yards and Baylor gained 307 yards, which makes this result of 3 points look like a fluke. However, Baylor averaged 5.90 yards per play and Oklahoma averaged 5.52 yards per play. Oklahoma was 12-18 on third down and 1-1 on fourth down, two things that are often game changing and not repeatable in general.
I think that this was an evenly matched game that had a lot of strange things occur that resulted in one of the craziest games of the season. While Oklahoma is the better team here, I think that the Baylor Bears are not getting quite the respect that they deserve in this matchup.
While I do not expect the game play pan out as an absolute roller coaster, I think that the final score and result of the last matchup is rather predictive of this rematch. I expect Oklahoma to win this game late, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bears with the ball and a chance to tie late in the game just like the last matchup. Taking the Bears and the points is the best bet. Take the Bears at https://www.realbookies.com/ our favorite pay per head bookie site.
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