OSU will continue looking to recapture the spark that ignited an offensive barrage to start its season and get back on track for a spot in the Big 12 title game. Baylor just wants to make sure it wins a game before the season ends.
The oddsmakers appear to think the Bears will still be winless after Saturday, installing the Cowboys as heavy favorites. Of course, they only need to ask their rivals down south at Oklahoma about assuming a victory against a supposedly overmatched foe.
Baylor at Oklahoma State
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FS1
Spread: Oklahoma State -25.5
Three Things to Watch
1. OSU matching up with Denzel Mims
In a season with few bright spots, the Bears did find a gem in Mims. The dangerous wide receiver has 25 catches for 533 yards and seven touchdowns in the first five games of his sophomore year.
Mims lit up the secondaries of Oklahoma and Kansas State in the last two weeks. OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer will need to make some accommodations to his scheme if the Cowboys want to slow down Baylor’s speedster.
2. Baylor’s ground game
The Bears have started to find a rhythm with their passing game, but the ground attack remains stalled. In its past three games, they’ve failed to crack the century mark in rushing.
In OSU’s only loss, TCU hammered the Cowboys with the run, which suggests this would be a good time for Baylor’s rushing attack to find its legs.
3. Mason Rudolph’s aim
The Cowboys sport one of the country’s most prolific offenses, especially when star quarterback Rudolph (above, right) is in a groove. A telltale sign that he’s not? He starts missing high on his targets.
If Rudolph isn’t sharp, it will do more than just make it hard for the Pokes to move the ball. It also opens up the possibility of the Bears picking him off on overthrows and tipped catches.
After a strong start, OSU hit a rough patch in its two games before last week’s bye. The Cowboys got handled by TCU in and upset loss and just squeaked by Texas Tech.
The off week should have given Mike Gundy’s team a chance to heal up and focus. Assuming they took advantage, the Cowboys will be ready to get back on track against a Baylor team that remains in rebuild mode.
The Bears could hang tight for a half, but in the end, this will be all OSU.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 52, Baylor 21
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.