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Sooners don't have chance against Bears

Nov. 13, 1998

Alright, alright, so my last column on the Baylor football team was a little harsh. I have been harassed, criticized and chastised all week, but I was right. We took it like a champ against the mighty K-State Wildcats and are alive to play another day. My outlook this week is much different. The University of Oklahoma 'Boomer' Sooners are coming to town and they're gonna get a whoopin'.

Why the positivity all of a sudden? Plainly, the Sooners have the worst offense I have seen this season. They are ranked 98th in the nation in total offense, managing only 294 yards a game against a schedule far softer than Baylor's. In their game against the University of Texas, they made even the Longhorns' shoddy defense look good, which is not an easy thing to do. Oklahoma's defense has been solid, however, and is ranked 10th in the nation. By comparison, Baylor's defense is 105th, allowing 460 yards and 30 points per game. Keep in mind, though, that Baylor's schedule is ranked toughest in the nation by the Sagarin computer rankings, and the Sooners have not had to play Kansas State or Notre Dame like the Bears have.

The Oklahoma offense is led by the three-headed quarterback monster of freshman Jake Sills, junior Brandon Daniels and sophomore Patrick Fletcher. Sills has seen the most action, playing in all nine of the Sooners' games this season. He has completed 44.6 percent of his passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns. Brandon Daniels is more inclined to keep it on the ground, having rushed 60 times for 106 yards and only having thrown the ball 40 times, completing 16 for 256 yards and a touchdown. Patrick Fletcher, who, like Daniels, has played in five games, has completed 15 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Senior quarterback Eric Moore, who was the starter last season, has been relegated to fourth on the depth chart, yet has still completed six passes for 119 yards while rushing for 92 yards. Sooner quarterbacks have been sacked 19 times this season for losses totaling 157 yards and have thrown 12 interceptions.

The Sooner offense features running back De'mond Parker, a 5-foot 10-inch junior who opted to return for this season rather than turning pro. Parker has piled up 855 yards on the ground this season and has been in the end zone three times. Parker is also the team's leading receiver, having caught 12 passes for 148 yards. He is joined in the backfield by sophomore fullback Seth Littrell, the team's second-leading rusher with 144 yards on 37 carries. The 6-foot, 222-pounder is the key to Oklahoma's success on the ground, throwing his big body into the hole to free Parker into the secondary. Senior split end Chris Blocker and junior flanker Jarrail Jackson each have 11 catches on the season for 176 yards.

The Sooner defense, which is allowing only 281 yards and 21.8 points per game, is led by sophomore linebacker Ontei Jones, who leads the team in tackles with 95, including 15 for a loss and five sacks. Jones has also forced three fumbles and recovered one. Left tackle Kelly Gregg, a 286-pound senior, leads the team with six sacks and 18 total tackles for a loss. The Oklahoma defense as a whole has 91 tackles for a loss and 33 sacks. The Sooner secondary is led by senior cornerback Corey Ivy, who has four interceptions and 33 unassisted tackles.

The Baylor Bears have never beaten the Oklahoma Sooners in seven previous games, dating back to their first meeting in 1901. The 1973 game between the two teams marked the coaching debut of 'Dirty Barry' Switzer, who later led the Sooners to three national championships.

Prediction:

The Baylor Bears, who finally get a chance to play a cupcake opponent, will win big in their final home game of the season. Oklahoma, whose only wins this season were against Iowa State, TCU and North Texas, are in for a wild ride on the 'Trolley.' I am, of course, referring to Derek Lagway, who will rumble over the Sooner defense and set up Jermaine Alfred to have a breakthrough day passing the ball. If you are going to attend one game all season, make it this one. The Bears are going to open up a can of a little special something for all us fans and send the Sooners home squeakin' from the freakin'. Final Score: Baylor 30,Oklahoma 10.

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