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Bears playing OSU for more than pride

Nov. 16, 2005

By RIAZ DHANANI, sports editor

With a 4-6 record and all hopes of being bowl eligible left on the field in Missouri, the Baylor football team finds itself in all too familiar territory -- playing spoiler.

Oklahoma State University travels to Waco this week along with their bowl hopes for the Bears' final game of the season.

So what exactly do the Bears have to play for?

A win would mark the first time the Bears have won two conference games since Baylor joined the Big 12 in 1996.

A win would give the Bears' their first five-win season since 1995.

And most importantly, a win would knock a rejuvenated Oklahoma State team out of bowl contention.

Head Coach Guy Morriss isn't calling the season quits just yet.

"If we can't go to a bowl, let's make sure they don't get to go to a bowl either," Morriss said at a weekly press conference. "I'm not interested in next year right now. I'm interested in finishing this season. We desperately need to get this win."

Nineteen seniors will step onto the field for the final time Saturday.

Morriss said even though there is no postseason for his team, the seniors must come ready to play and do whatever it takes for a win.

"(The seniors) might have thought we were going to let them start and play a few plays and then start building for next year," Morriss said.

Defensive coordinator Bill Bradley said the players should be motivated for this game after Oklahoma State defeated the Bears 49-21 last season in Stillwater, Okla.

"They kind of rubbed it in on us last year when we played up there," Bradley said. "I think our guys are going to remember that and hopefully get fired up for this week."

The Cowboys have had an up-and-down season of sorts, struggling early in the season to slide past Division I-AA Montana State, yet leading the No. 2 Texas Longhorns by 19 points late in the second quarter and topping No. 21 Texas Tech 24-17 in an emotional win Saturday.

"Their confidence is building as the weeks go on," offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "They did a good job against Texas Tech, and I think they stole some of their scheme against Texas Tech from what our defense did against them."

The Bears, who look to conclude the season on a good note, play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.