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OU vs. Baylor report card: Sooners get a pass after comeback for the ages

Related coverage: OU vs Baylor

Recap: OU 34, Baylor 31 OU football: Just in the Nik of time, Sooners save season with 34-31 at Baylor OU football: After shaky start, Jalen Hurts leads epic Sooner comeback for 34-31 win at Baylor OU football: Sooners pull off biggest comeback in school history OU football: Kickoff for Sooners-TCU announced OU football: CeeDee Lamb sits out against Baylor, other notes from Sooners' win over Baylor

OU staged a comeback for the ages Saturday, beating Baylor 34-31 after trailing 28-3 in the second quarter. The grades reflect the crazy game:

Ball control: A. A team down 21 points at halftime generally plays desperate in the second half. And maybe OU felt desperation. But it didn’t show. The Sooners stayed methodical on offense, allowed to by a suddenly stingy defense. Baylor ran only 16 second-half plays, six of them after OU took a 34-31 lead with 1:45 left in the game. The Sooners reeled off second-half drives of 12, 11, 13, 13 and eight plays. The only drive that didn’t pay off ended with a Jalen Hurts fumble in the end zone. That ball control allowed OU’s defense to get its legs. Baylor had just 61 second-half yards.

Tackling/takeaway conundrum: A. The Sooners’ tackling has gone south in recent weeks with the increasing emphasis on ending the takeaway drought. OU mostly turned that around vs. Baylor. The Sooners tackled decently, at least when they got their hands on quarterback Charlie Brewer, and produced two takeaways, including Parnell Motley’s strip of JaMycal Hasty leading to Patrick Fields’ fumble recovery in the third quarter and the game-ending interception by linebacker Nik Bonitto.

Uniform matchup: A. Baylor wore all green – pants, jerseys, helmets, with gold trim and characters – which made for a sharp contrast from OU’s Rough Rider look, which as alternate uniforms go, is quite solid.

Game plan: B. OU’s first-half gameplan showed little ingenuity. There was more reliance on a two-tailback set than we’ve seen in previous game, which always can create problems for the defense – but too often fell back on Hurts quarterback draws, which is a great play unless overused. In the second half, the gameplan was much better, with more rollouts for Hurts to evade the rush and some bunch formations to help in short-yardage situations, along with more varied pass patterns.

Containing Brewer: C. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer consistently got out of the pocket in the first half and hurt the Sooners with his feet. After an opening-drive sack by Ronnie Perkins, OU lost all containment of Brewer. He scrambled for gains of 7, 12, 23, 6, 6 and 5 in the first half, while also rushing for 24 yards on seven designed runs. But in the second half, the Sooners put the clamps on Brewer, and Perkins added two more sacks.

Hospitality: D. From the pregame invocation to the video board, Baylor didn’t show much class. A Baptist pastor included “Sic ‘em, Jesus” in his prayer, which was not so much an affront to Sooners as it was to Christians. And a video segment mocked the Sooner Schooner crash from a few weeks ago, which could be funny, I suppose, except people were injured, though none extensively. Fans can be crazy, but universities should have higher standards.

Replacing Lamb: B. Superstar receiver CeeDee Lamb missed the game, perhaps because of a possible concussion after a big hit a week earlier against Iowa State. The Sooners were slow to make up for his absence. But in the second half, Charleston Rambo, Lee Morris and Theo Wease, in particular, got open more often and made big plays. OU missed Lamb’s big-play ability. The Sooners had just two pass plays of longer than 17 yards, a 22-yard completion to A.D. Miller and a 28-yard catch-and-run by Rambo.

Related Photos
<strong>Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) runs past Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore (90) and linebacker David Ugwoegbu (34) during Saturday's 34-31 Sooner win in Waco, Texas. [Ian Maule/Tulsa World]</strong>

Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) runs past Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore (90) and linebacker David Ugwoegbu (34) during Saturday's 34-31 Sooner win in Waco, Texas. [Ian Maule/Tulsa World]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3f77952765394f5e18c16d3a0204b27a.jpg" alt="Photo - Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) runs past Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore (90) and linebacker David Ugwoegbu (34) during Saturday's 34-31 Sooner win in Waco, Texas. [Ian Maule/Tulsa World] " title=" Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) runs past Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore (90) and linebacker David Ugwoegbu (34) during Saturday's 34-31 Sooner win in Waco, Texas. [Ian Maule/Tulsa World] "><figcaption> Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer (12) runs past Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore (90) and linebacker David Ugwoegbu (34) during Saturday's 34-31 Sooner win in Waco, Texas. [Ian Maule/Tulsa World] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7f559b2a68816c82fe0ffead7eab6f82.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, is chased by Baylor linebacker Blake Lynch during Saturday's game in Waco, Texas. [AP Photo/Ray Carlin] " title=" Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, is chased by Baylor linebacker Blake Lynch during Saturday's game in Waco, Texas. [AP Photo/Ray Carlin] "><figcaption> Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, is chased by Baylor linebacker Blake Lynch during Saturday's game in Waco, Texas. [AP Photo/Ray Carlin] </figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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