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Baylor’s defense clamps down on Oklahoma in 41-12 win

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

We knew Baylor's offense was good. But its defense is pretty dang good as well.

The Bears stifled Oklahoma and limited the Sooners to just 237 total yards in its 41-12 win to move Baylor to 8-0 for the first time in school history. And while the final score isn't indicative of it, the Baylor offense needed the Baylor defense Thursday night, especially in the first quarter.

After Baylor kicked a field goal on its second possession, Oklahoma drove down the field to inside the five, but Baylor stopped Blake Bell at the half-yard line on fourth down. That gave the ball back to Baylor, but on the Bears' second offensive play, Bryce Petty was sacked in the end zone. Safety. 3-2, Baylor.

Right after that, Oklahoma returned the ensuing free kick inside the Baylor 20. Again, the Baylor defense held strong and limited Oklahoma to a field goal and a 5-3 score.

The game was over from there, as Petty and the offense got going. Oklahoma's offense never did.

[Pat Forde: Baylor underwhelms but still crushes Oklahoma]

Baylor entered Thursday night giving up just 316 yards per game on defense, an impressive but overlooked number. Oklahoma was well below that.

The quarterback rotation of Trevor Knight and Blake Bell simply didn't work. Neither could run and Bell couldn't throw. While we're piling on the superlatives on the Baylor defense, we're well aware of the necessity to point out that the Oklahoma offense couldn't get out of its own way at times. Center Gabe Ikard was "embarrassed" about the performance.

While Oklahoma ran for just 87 yards, Baylor piled up 255. The majority of them came from Shock Linwood, the Bears' third string tailback, who ran for 182 after Heisman candidate Lache Seastrunk and backup Glasco Martin were limited to six carries each because of injuries. (Receiver Tevin Reese also hurt his wrist and is out until Baylor's bowl game.)

[Watch: LSU vs. Alabama, head-to-head]

That depth and that offensive versatility -- Petty was 13-26 for 204 yards passing and three touchdowns -- is why Baylor's a BCS National Championship contender. Oh, and that defense too. This is a well-rounded grizzly.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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