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Bears to deal with OU Saturday

Nov. 19, 2004

By MATT RICHARDS, sports writer

Baylor will try to upset a nationally ranked team for the second time this season as the University of Oklahoma Sooners face the Bears this weekend. Kickoff from Floyd Casey Stadium is scheduled for 11:10 a.m.

But the Bears will be short-handed in this task since Head Coach Guy Morriss suspended five players Thursday for violating team rules.

Morriss handed down suspensions to redshirt freshman DB Nick Fellows, redshirt freshman wide receiver Derrick Jones, redshirt freshman DB Brannan Moton, redshirt freshman DB Kyle Seals and sophomore wide receiver Dominique Zeigler.

"These suspensions are immediate and indefinite," Morriss said in a press release. "At present, they are still members of our program. I will have no further comment regarding this situation."

The Sooners are undefeated in 10 games and are ranked No. 2 in both the ESPN/USA Today and BSC polls. Even if OU was to fall this weekend to the Bears, they would still go to the Big 12 Championship game Dec. 4 in Kansas City, Kan.

The Sooners have a two-headed offensive monster in true freshman running back Adrian Peterson and sixth-year senior quarterback Jason White. The duo has combined for 37 touchdowns on the season.

White is trying to become only the second player in NCAA history to win the trophy twice. He's thrown more touchdowns, his completion percentages are up and his pass efficiency rating is up to 165.7 this season.

"Really and truly, he's having a much better year than he did last year," Baylor defensive coordinator Bill Bradley said.

It's been tough to find weaknesses in White's game. He hasn't throw an interception in four games and has thrown 15 touchdowns in those four.

Peterson also is trying to write his name in the record books as the only true freshman to win the trophy. In 10 games, Peterson has rushed for 1,431 yards and nine touchdowns.

Last week, Peterson had his nine-game streak with more than 100-yards rushing broken. It is the longest for a freshman running back in NCAA history.

Facing the Sooners this weekend will be a Baylor team on a two-game losing skid. Baylor lost sophomore quarterback Shawn Bell last week to a hand injury, sidelining him except for emergency situations.

The injuries to junior quarterback Dane King and Bell mean third-string freshman quarterback Terrance Parks will start for the Bears. Last week, Parks threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns.

"We're seeing a lot of things that we saw on tape that impressed us," Morriss said.

Last year, Baylor's defense exposed a protection weakness that was later exploited in post-season games. This year, the defense hopes to find a new weakness in the seemingly flawless Sooners.

"They're just another team like other teams," sophomore defensive back Willie Andrews said. "They have weaknesses like all the other teams. We've just got to find those weaknesses and exploit them."

Sports editor Catherine Brown contributed to this story.