Baylor and Oklahoma slugged it out for the second time this season, taking the Big 12 Championship Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington to overtime Saturday.
Early on, it appeared the Sooners were ready to roll over their rival, going up 10-0. The Bears woke up in the second quarter, however, going up 13-10 at the half. The second half saw both teams go on runs. But ultimately, after four quarters the score was tied up, 23-23. Overtime beckoned.
In overtime, the Sooners punched in a touchdown on offense and shut the Bears down on defense, winning by the score of 30-23.
These are the biggest winners and losers from Oklahoma’s win over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Winner: CeeDee Lamb was electric
In the first half alone, Oklahoma star receiver CeeDee Lamb racked up 106 yards on just four receptions. Much of that yardage came on one play. Lamb caught a short pass on the right side of the field, then broke multiple touchdowns on an ankle-breaking run after the catch that went 71 yards and nearly was a house call.
The second half saw Lamb continue to shine.
He was the only consistent weapon in Oklahoma’s passing game on a day when Baylor’s defense showed up big time. Lamb ultimately finished with eight catches for 173 yards.
Loser: Baylor’s run game was a non-factor
The Bears were a very balanced team on offense this season. Yet on Saturday during the Big 12 Championship Game Oklahoma’s defense negated the Baylor run game almost completely.
Baylor gained a grand total of 35 yards on 29 carries (this stat includes losses on six sacks surrendered) as the Sooners dominated up front against the Bears’ offensive line. Without any balance, Baylor had to rely on the passing game almost exclusively. And while there were big plays to be had there, that approach ultimately doomed the Bears when they went backwards in overtime.
Winner: Lincoln Riley has team poised for potential CFP berth
The College Football Playoff selection committee may ultimately still keep the Big 12 out when the final rankings are released. But the No. 6-ranked Sooners’ win Saturday during the Big 12 Championship Game, combined with No. 5 Utah’s loss, set the Sooners up to potentially get in.
For head coach Lincoln Riley, this also represents the third straight 12-win season for the Sooners, who have clearly been one of the strongest teams in college football throughout the 2019 season. These are significant developments for Riley and his program.
Loser: Baylor’s handling of Charlie Brewer
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer took a huge hit in the second quarter of Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. His head hit the turf hard, and teammates had to help him up afterward. He was clearly woozy and struggled to walk off the field (watch here).
Yet just a minute or so later, Brewer was back in the game. Baylor’s medical team couldn’t have done a proper evaluation, but Brewer was adamant he was fine and went right back into the game. A bit later, head official Mike Defee stopped the game and Baylor finally sent Brewer into the locker room for a legitimate evaluation.
This is a really bad look. We get that these guys are highly competitive, and Brewer clearly was determined to keep playing for his team. But the decision isn’t supposed to be up to him. Baylor’s medical staff, and ultimately head coach Matt Rhule, made a big mistake with how this was handled.
Winner: Jacob Zeno gave the Bears life
There’s no chance Baylor would have even gotten to overtime if not for the surprising play of third-string quarterback Jacob Zeno. The freshman came into the game in the fourth quarter and immediately sparked a comeback with an electric 81-yard touchdown strike to Trestan Ebner (watch here).
The big plays continued for this young man, who finished the game with 159 yards and a touchdown passing on just five attempts.
Unfortunately, the young man was unable to lead the Bears to victory. But clearly, his future is bright for Zeno and the Bears.