Third-ranked Oklahoma owns the nation’s longest active winning streak at 13 games heading into Saturday night’s Big 12 opener at Baylor. The Sooners, who have won 16 consecutive Big 12 contests, can match the school record of 17 straight Big 12 victories accomplished from 2003 to 2005, with a win over the Bears.
Saturday will mark 371 days since Oklahoma’s last loss (at home to Ohio State) and 714 days since the Sooners dropped a Big 12 contest against Texas on Oct. 10, 2015. Led by quarterback and Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma hasn’t missed a beat since the surprise resignation of Bob Stoops back in June. The Sooners have outscored their first three opponents 143-37 under new coach Lincoln Riley, including an impressive 31-16 upset of then-No. 3-ranked Ohio State at the Horseshoe on Sept. 9. “We all have room for improvement, so we’ve just got to keep getting better, and the focus will be on the fact that this is the first Big 12 game,” Mayfield told the Tulsa World. “Yeah, we have national-title aspirations. The first step to getting there is the Big 12. So it’s the first challenge for us going into this conference run. We’ve got to take care of business.”
TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1. LINE: Oklahoma -27.5
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (3-0, 0-0 Big 12): Mayfield, the school career leader in passing efficiency (188.21) and completion percentage (70.2), has thrown a touchdown pass in a school-record 29 consecutive games and has thrown at least two TD passes in 16 straight contests. The ground game, working behind one of the top lines in college football, is led by sophomore Abdul Adams and junior Marcelias Sutton who are averaging 7.9 and 7.7 yards per carry, respectively, while tight end Mark Andrews (13 catches, 233 yards, 1 TD) and freshman wideout CeeDee Lamb (12-213 yards-3) are Mayfield’s top targets. The defense, led by cornerback Parnell Motley (two interceptions), ranks No. 7 nationally in passing yards allowed per game (110.3).
ABOUT BAYLOR (0-3, 0-0): The Bears are still searching for their first win of the Matt Rhule Era, losing to Liberty (48-45) and Texas-San Antonio (17-10) at home and 34-20 at Duke last week. The good news is the Bears, who rank 85th nationally in rushing offense (149.3 yards per game), welcome back junior running back Terence Williams, who had 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns last season but missed the first three games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The bad news is quarterback Anu Solomon, a grad transfer from Arizona who started the first two games, will miss his second straight contest due to concussion symptoms, and sophomore Zach Smith, who has completed 13-of-36 passes for 279 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions, is set to make his second straight start.
1. Oklahoma has won 12 consecutive true road games, the third longest streak in school history.
2. The Sooners announced Wednesday they will be wearing their Rough Rider alternate uniforms for the game, the first time they’ve been worn on the road since a 56-28 victory at West Virginia in 2016.
3. Oklahoma leads the all-time series with the Bears, 23-3, including a 11-2 mark in Waco.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 56, Baylor 14