WACO — Saturday may not have been ideal weather for the typically high-flying Baylor offense.
But for Shock Linwood and the Baylor running game, the Bears’ water-logged showdown against Oklahoma State was everything they’d always dreamed about.
“Growing up as a kid, whenever I was playing video games I always put it on playing in the rain,” Linwood said with a smile. “So, (when) it rained today it felt good playing in it.”
No. 6 Baylor overcame the elements, and a feisty Oklahoma State team, to win 49-28 Saturday due in large part to 317 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
“That’s when you want to really rely on those big guys up front,” said Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, whose 21-yard touchdown run in the final minutes sealed the victory after OSU had scored 14 straight. “I don’t know if that’s the right answer to have — I like having the ball in my hands. But that stuff’s tough. … And I thought our guys up front did a really good job, especially with how the game flow was moving.”
Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) began the game with two scoring drives that spanned a total of five plays in one minute, one second.
On just the second play from scrimmage, Petty hit Jay Lee for a 65-yard touchdown pass. Then, on the Bears’ next drive, he hooked up with Corey Coleman for a 54-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead at the 12:24 mark in the first.
“When we got out there and it wasn’t raining early in the game, we felt like we had to get it while we could,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “Be real aggressive while the ball was dry and try to get points on the board because we felt like rain was coming.”
Despite an interception that led to an Oklahoma State score on the next drive, Baylor wasn’t done scoring in the first as Devin Chafin added a 2-yard touchdown run on the Bears’ longest scoring drive of the season, a 19-play, 79-yard march that took over seven minutes.
Chafin’s second touchdown, a 7-yarder in the second, gave Baylor a 28-7 lead that Oklahoma State trimmed to 14 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mason Randolph to David Glidden just before halftime.
But the Bears defense kept Oklahoma State at bay long enough for Baylor to go up 42-14 after touchdown runs by Linwood, at the 3:57 mark in the third, and Chafin with 14:21 remaining in the game.
The Cowboys scored the next 14 points to pull within 42-28 on a Rennie Childs 2-yard plunge with 10:44 to play, but Baylor safety Orion Stewart ended the OSU rally attempt on the Cowboys’ next drive when he picked off Randolph in Baylor territory to set up Petty’s game-sealing scamper.
“We came out, especially in the fourth quarter, we came out lackadaisical,” Stewart said. “We can’t finish like that. But luckily we were able to get enough stops to back them up and they weren’t able to get nothing towards the end.”
Linwood and Chafin both finished with more than 100 yards on the ground as Linwood rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown and Chafin had 107 and three touchdowns.
And while it may not have been ideal for the rest of the Bear offense, the Baylor running backs made sure Mother Nature didn’t cost the Bears a shot at the Big 12 title and the College Football Playoff.