WACO, Texas – Gerry Bohanon had a hard time finding the words to describe just how he felt after 18th-ranked Baylor ran over Oklahoma, ending the fourth-ranked Sooners' nation’s-best 17-game winning streak.
The hard-nosed quarterback does know what it means going forward for the resurgent Bears.
“I know we’ll keep going,” Bohanon said. “I know that was just motivation for what we can do, and we can be as a team.”
Bohanon threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores in the fourth quarter and Baylor's defense harassed both Oklahoma quarterbacks in a 27-14 win Saturday that kept the Bears in contention for a spot in the Big 12 championship game, a week after an unexpected loss at struggling TCU.
“It’s controlled confidence. You know, we put in the work and we expected results,” said linebacker Terrel Bernard, who had nine tackles and two sacks for Baylor (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, CFP No. 13). “We didn’t play up to our standard last week. And, we corrected some things on tape. We put in a great game plan and came out here and executed.”
The Sooners (9-1, 6-1, CFP No. 8) were held to 260 total yards, their fewest ever with coach Lincoln Riley in his five seasons as head coach and two seasons as offensive coordinator before that. It was their fewest points in a regular-season game since a 48-14 home loss to Baylor in 2014, which came weeks before they ended that season with a 40-6 loss to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Oklahoma lost in November under Riley for the first time.
“Disappointing, no other way to put it,” Riley said. “Still a whole lot left for this football team. That’s the advantage of winning your first nine games, is you do set yourself up to be able to overcome something like this. ... We’ll bounce back like we always do and like we fully expect to.”
Abram Smith had 148 yards rushing, including a 75-yard scamper to set up the first of Bohanon’s rushing TDs for a 17-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Bohanon, who threw an interception near midfield with a minute to go in the 30-28 loss at TCU, ran for 107 yards against the Sooners while hitting 12 of 21 passes for 117 yards and an interception.
Baylor fans stormed the field when they thought the game was over, but there had been a timeout, and 3 seconds remained. Pretty much all of Oklahoma’s team had left the field and it took several minutes to clear the field and get 11 Sooners back out for the final snap after officials spoke with an irate Riley.
Isaiah Hankins then kicked a 32-yard field goal for points that could come into play in a Big 12 tiebreaker, and the fans then swarmed the field again.
Baylor coach Dave Aranda said he was thinking about Big 12 tiebreakers that include point differential.
“I know why Dave tried to kick field goal. I don’t agree with it,” Riley said. “I still think above all else, there’s a code of sportsmanship that I believe in, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Oklahoma freshman quarterback Caleb Williams, who had been so dynamic since leading a big comeback against Texas last month, threw two interceptions. Preseason AP All-America quarterback Spencer Rattler, who he had replaced as the starter, took over late in the third quarter.
Williams had a 2-yard TD run early, but finished 10-of-19 passing for 146 yards while getting sacked three times. Rattler was sacked twice as well. Williams returned to complete three passes for 74 yards on a late drive before Kennedy Brooks' 1-yard TD with 2:26 left.
Oklahoma: The Sooners still control their path to get into the Big 12 championship game for a chance to win their seventh consecutive conference title. But getting back into the College Football Playoff just got trickier. Lacking notable victories, the Sooners were only eighth in the CFP rankings.
Baylor: This was the first signature victory in two seasons under Aranda. Fittingly a standout defensive performance from the former defensive coordinator for LSU's national championship two seasons ago was key. It was a huge rebound after allowing 531 yards to TCU's first-time starting quarterback, Chandler Morris, last week.
Gabe Brkic, the third-year Oklahoma kicker who was 17-of-20 this season and had never had multiple misses in a game, missed twice before halftime. He had plenty of leg but missed attempts of 51 and 40 yards wide right, one at each end of the field.
Oklahoma’s 17-game winning streak was its longest since 20 in a row in 2000-01 that included its last national championship. The Sooners had won 23 consecutive November games, 11 of those against Top 25 opponents, since 2014. ... Oklahoma had also scored at least 30 points in 35 consecutive true road games, which was the longest streak nationally since at least 1980.
Oklahoma plays its home finale against Iowa State in a rematch of last year’s Big 12 title game.
Baylor plays next Saturday at Kansas State.
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