The Big 12’s top game will be played in Waco when Oklahoma State visits Baylor at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 on Fox.
The game features two high octane offenses led by veteran quarterbacks — Baylor’s Seth Russell and OSU’s Mason Rudolph.
Mason has already thrown for 1,017 yards and six touchdowns to rank third in the conference, while Russell has thrown for 761 yards and nine touchdowns.
Bears coach Jim Grobe said he is impressed with Rudolph, especially with how well he throws the deep ball, and how he gets this teammates involved, including receivers James Washington, who has 19 catches for 399 yards and three touchdowns, and Jhujuan Seales, who has 13 receptions for 224 yards and two scores.
“He gets great height on the ball, and that makes it really tough on the defensive backs because it kind of drops in over them so that was really, really impressive,” he said. “The thing that scares you is that they’ve got more than one receiver. So what they do to you is they’ve got some individuals that can really hurt you, but you can’t double cover those guys because they’ve got good balance all over the field.”
Perhaps the best defense is the Bears’ offense. Grobe said one option is to get more mobility from the Russell to open up the offense.
“Going forward I think our goal is to kind of take the gloves off a little bit and let him play and give him some opportunities to run with the football,” the coach said. “He has to be really smart when he does; pick and choose his opportunities, but when he does run we’d like for him to be smart about taking on defenders, and I’d rather see him try to make defenders miss rather than run over them type deal, but I think our offense is geared toward having a quarterback that can run and throw, and that’s what Seth’s strength is, and I think that will actually take some pressure off him to be spot-on on every throw, giving him the opportunity to run a little bit.”
Baylor receiver K.D. Cannon ranks second in the league in yards per game with 352 thanks to 24 catches, while running back JaMycal Hasty has 28 carries for 237 yards and two touchdowns Terrence Williams has 42 carries for 234 yards and three touchdowns, and Shock Linwood has 40 carries for 213 yards.
“JaMycal has the great quickness and foot speed and so that gives us three guys that bring different things that they bring to the table, all of them dangerous and all of them are good running backs so it’s fun for me to see JaMycal get a chance because it’s always fun to watch the young guys get an opportunity, and we’re really pleased with Shock and we’re really pleased with Terence,” Grobe said. “It’s a great situation for us right now to have three running backs that we’re comfortable with.”
The Bears will have to put a body on linebacker Elijah Lee, who is tied for second in the conference by averaging eight tackles per game.
The most bizarre part of Grobe’s day, however, was how he answered a question about Shawn Oakman, who was indicted on charges of felony second degree sexual assault in July. Oakman attended the win over Rice Sept. 16 and reporters asked why the former Bear entered the locker room after the game.
Grobe said he didn’t know who Oakman was and many people are in the locker room after games. A Baylor spokesman said Oakman didn’t enter the locker room and instead stood in the hallway outside of it.
Russell said Oakman is a member of the Baylor family and the team “will love on him as much as anyone else.”
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