COLLEGE FOOTBALL LOOK AHEAD

No. 18 Baylor seeks to stay unbeaten at Oklahoma St.

Field Level Media

October 16, 2019 at 2:06 am.

No. 18 Baylor visits Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday trying to avoid a repeat of what happened the last time it was unbeaten through six games.

The Bears (6-0 overall, 3-0 Big 12) rallied for a 33-30 double-overtime victory over Texas Tech last Saturday to match the start of Jim Grobe’s 2016 club, which promptly lost its next six games and 11 of 12 in 2017 during Matt Rhule’s first year at the helm.

Baylor now is bowl eligible for the second consecutive season, and Rhule couldn’t be happier.

“I’ll tell you the truth, first of all, it’s a great thing. It’s an honor to be bowl eligible,” Rhule said.

“But one of our first goals every season is to be bowl champions. It’s a tremendous honor any time someone invites us to come play in their bowl game. To be bowl eligible at this point in the season, I’ll talk about it now since we did it. We achieved half of that goal. We want to be bowl champions. We go into bowl games to win.”

Charlie Brewer completed 24 of 37 passes for a season-high 352 yards vs. the Red Raiders and offset his first three interceptions of the season by rushing for three touchdowns.

“I just feel like that’s when the quarterback has to be at his best, when the game’s on the line,” Brewer said. “I made my handful of mistakes earlier in the game. But as a quarterback you’ve just got to let it go and realize you’ve got a chance to win the game.”

Baylor enters Saturday’s game without fifth-year senior linebacker Clay Johnston, who sustained a season-ending knee injury after reeling in an interception with 9:16 remaining in regulation.

Johnston has collected 58 tackles, including eight for loss and 2.5 sacks, as well as five pass break-ups for the Bears, who are 17th nationally in scoring defense (17.8 points per game) and tied for 39th in total defense (340.2 yards per game).

Johnston’s absence likely will be felt against Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, who leads the nation by averaging 182.3 yards per game on the ground.

Hubbard, from Sherwood Park, Alberta, has rushed for 1,094 yards with 13 touchdowns in just six games this season for the Cowboys (4-2, 1-2).

Impressive numbers to be certain, but Hubbard isn’t too keen on being mentioned in the Heisman Trophy race along with quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) and Joe Burrow (LSU).

“We talk about embracing your role a lot so this year I knew I had to step up a lot and I knew I could do a lot to help the team,” the 6-foot-1, 207-pound Hubbard said during a conference call. “I just try my best every game. Whatever happens, happens.

“That (Heisman Trophy hype) is all cool and I’m blessed to be even recognized for that. I try not to focus too much of that stuff. Too much of that can hurt you so I just focus on my team and winning games.”

Hubbard rushed for 156 yards in the Cowboys’ 45-35 loss at Texas Tech on Oct. 5, however the club was undone by five turnovers from redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders (three interceptions, two fumbles).

“The first area for him is to take care of the football,” Gundy said. “He threw a bad interception, and then he got hit on one interception and had another one tipped (against the Red Raiders). So we want to eliminate those, but the issue is fumbling the ball in the pocket.”