OU football: Sooner defense looks to stifle Bears offense
Just because Baylor no longer has Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III, don’t think the Bears have lost any of their punch offensively. They still have plenty of firepower.
“The system is the same,” senior cornerback Demontre Hurst said. “They can put it in the air, and their quarterback can run just like RGIII did.”
“We just have to be on our high-horse and defend the passes and try to get the quarterback out of his comfort zone and start making him throw some bad passes.”
Despite losing Griffin to the NFL, Baylor boasts the nation’s top-ranked total offense and sixth-ranked scoring offense, averaging 581 yards and almost 44 points per game.
“They put a lot of pressure on your secondary,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “They make you defend the field as well as anybody.”
And a large part of the Bears’ offensive production can be attributed to senior receiver Terrance Williams, who leads the country in receiving.
“He’s probably one of the best receivers in the whole nation,” Hurst said. “(I’ve) been watching him on film lately now, and he’s a good player. I can’t wait to get a chance to go against him and go against him a lot.”
Williams has caught 71 passes for passes for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 18.9 yards per catch.
Against West Virginia earlier this season, he had 314 yards receiving on 17 catches, including a pair of touchdowns.
“The challenge is going to be there for me — slowing him down, kind of getting him out of his comfort zone and trying to get the other guys (in the secondary) to make plays also,” Hurst said. “So it’s a big game for both of us.”
Griffin’s replacement — senior quarterback Nick Florence — is no slouch either.
He’s the No. 3 quarterback in the country in terms of passing yards with 3,019, and he leads the nation with an average of 377 yards per game — 40 more than Griffin averaged during his Heisman campaign last season.
With or without RGIII, coach Art Briles’ system has proven it can put up big numbers.
“They can really isolate you and put you on an island,” Stoops said. “You’re going to have to play great technique, and our coverage is going to have to be better than it’s been really all year.”
After last year’s defensive meltdown in a 45-38 loss, the Sooners’ defense is more motivated than ever to shutdown Baylor.
“Back in two-a-days, I used to watch the Baylor game every day,” senior safety Javon Harris said. “I know what happened. I lost my spot after this one. For me to come back where I’m at now and go into this game and prove people wrong, I’m really confident to go into this game.”