Thursday, November 8, 2012
Five storylines: Baylor vs. Oklahoma
By Brandon Chatmon
Oklahoma hosts Baylor at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday as the Sooners look to improve to 5-1 in Big 12 play. Here are five storylines to keep an eye on:
1. Will the Sooners defense redeem itself?
When people think of Baylor’s win over OU last season, thoughts of Bears receivers running uncontested through the secondary immediately come to mind.
The Sooners secondary is looking for redemption on Saturday. Mike Stoops' defense has been outstanding this season and will look to continue its strong play against an explosive Baylor offense led by Nick Florence.
Make no mistake, this game has been circled on the Sooners' calendar since they were embarrassed in Waco last season.
2. Can OU slow the Florence to Williams connection?
Sooners fans should remember Williams, the Bears receiver who caught the 34-yard touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to upset the Sooners in 2011. The senior has 71 receptions for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight games this season.
At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Williams brings great size to the position with superb ball skills. The battle between him and OU cornerback Aaron Colvin should be fun to watch.
With starter Damien Williams limited by an ankle injury, the junior running back rushed for 157 yards, including 99 yards in the second half, and one touchdown against Iowa State last weekend.
It’s quite possible Williams will be limited again this week against the Bears, so Clay could see another 20-plus carry afternoon. It’s his opportunity to fulfill the promise he showed when he was an elite running back recruit out of high school.
4. Which Sooner could come from nowhere to make a major impact?
Against Notre Dame it was Jalen Saunders’ 15-catch performance. Last week, Clay stepped up when OU needed him.
Keep an eye on nickelback Julian Wilson against the Bears. With Baylor running plenty of four wide receiver sets, Wilson will be on the field plenty and the redshirt sophomore has played well in spot duty this season. Don’t be surprised if the Sooners' sixth defensive back makes a couple key plays for OU’s defense.
5. Can the Bears secondary matchup with OU’s four receiver sets?
The Sooners' four-receiver sets have been especially lethal since Saunders became eligible in October. Opponents have had a difficult time finding four quality cornerbacks who can hold their own against Saunders, Sterling Shepard, Kenny Stills and Justin Brown.