Baylor and Oklahoma slugged it out for the second time this season, taking the Big 12 Championship Game into overtime Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Early on, it appeared the Sooners were ready to roll over their rival, going up 10-0. The Bears woke up in the second quarter, however, to take a 13-10 lead at the half. The second half saw both teams go on runs. But ultimately, after four quarters the score was tied, 23-23. Overtime beckoned.
RELATED: Oklahoma wins Big 12
In overtime, the Sooners punched in a touchdown on offense and shut down the Bears on defense, winning 30-23.
These are the biggest winners and losers from Oklahoma’s victory over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Winner: CeeDee Lamb was electric
In the first half alone, Oklahoma’s star receiver racked up 106 yards on just four receptions. Much of that yardage came on one play. Lamb caught a short pass on the right side of the field, then broke multiple tackles on an ankle-breaking run that went 71 yards and nearly was a house call.
The second half saw Lamb continue to shine.
Ceedee Lamb is so clutch pic.twitter.com/2tTrletcVK
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) December 7, 2019
He was the only consistent weapon in Oklahoma’s passing game on a day when Baylor’s defense showed up big time. Lamb ultimately finished with eight catches for 173 yards. For his efforts, Lamb was named MVP of the game.
Loser: Baylor’s run game was a non-factor
The Bears were a very balanced team on offense this season. Yet on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game, Oklahoma’s defense negated the Baylor run game almost completely.
Baylor gained 35 yards on 29 carries (this stat includes losses on six sacks surrendered) as the Sooners dominated up front against the Bears’ offensive line. Without any balance, Baylor had to rely on the passing game almost exclusively.
And while there were big plays to be had there, that approach ultimately doomed the Bears when they went backward in overtime.
Winner: Riley has Sooners poised for potential CFP berth
The College Football Playoff selection committee may ultimately keep the Big 12 out when the final rankings are released. But the No. 6-ranked Sooners’ win on Saturday, combined with No. 5 Utah’s loss, set the Sooners up to potentially get in.
For head coach Lincoln Riley, this represents the third straight 12-win season for the Sooners, who have clearly been one of the strongest teams in college football throughout the 2019 season. These are significant developments for Riley and his program.
Loser: Baylor’s handling of QB Charlie Brewer
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer took a huge hit in the second quarter. His head hit the turf hard, and teammates had to help him up. He was clearly woozy and struggled to walk off the field (watch here).
Yet, just a minute or so later, Brewer was back in the game. It’s not likely Baylor’s medical team could have done a proper evaluation, but Brewer was adamant he was fine and went right back into the game. A bit later, head official Mike Defee stopped the game and Baylor finally sent Brewer into the locker room for further evaluation.
This is a really bad look. We get that these players are highly competitive, and Brewer clearly was determined to keep playing for his team. But the decision isn’t supposed to be up to him. Baylor’s medical staff, and ultimately head coach Matt Rhule, made a big mistake with how this was handled.
Winner: Jacob Zeno gave the Bears life
There’s no chance Baylor would have even gotten to overtime if not for the surprising play of third-string quarterback Jacob Zeno. The freshman came into the game in the fourth quarter and immediately sparked a comeback with an electric 81-yard touchdown strike to Trestan Ebner (watch here).
The big plays continued for this young man, who finished the game with 159 yards and a touchdown passing on just five attempts.
BAYLOR IS PUTTING TOGETHER A COMEBACK! pic.twitter.com/OAoL8kHMuv
— ESPN (@espn) December 7, 2019
Unfortunately, Zeno was unable to lead the Bears to victory. But clearly, the future is bright for Zeno and the Bears.
Related slideshow: The 25 best game-ending plays in college football history (Provided by Yardbarker)
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