Saturday, December 12, 2020, McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas, 7 p.m. ET
Cowboys at Bears Betting Preview: Cowboys (-4.5), Bears (+4.5)
After a 4-0 start that included wins over Iowa State and West Virginia, Oklahoma State rose to No. 6 in the national rankings and looked like the Big 12’s best bet to make the College Football Playoff.
The No. 22 Cowboys (6-3, 5-3 Big 12) have dropped three of their last five games, however, and can finish no higher than third in the conference after last week’s 29-22 loss at TCU.
A frustrated Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy made it clear during the league’s coaches teleconference this week that a third-place finish wasn’t high on his list of priorities.
“I’m not disappointed with anybody in this organization,” Gundy said. “I’m disappointed that — every year our goal is to win a Big 12 Championship. If you win a Big 12 Championship, you win first place. If you get second or 10th, you get the last place. There are no second-place medals.”
Oklahoma State lost at TCU despite jumping out to a 13-0 lead and forcing a season-high five turnovers by the Horned Frogs.
Playing without injured All-America running back Chuba Hubbard, the Cowboys managed to score off only one of the turnovers, a 40-yard fumble return by defensive end Brock Martin, and the Horned Frogs and quarterback Max Duggan took advantage of an injury-plagued OSU secondary to rally and pull out the victory.
“It’s a pretty rare game when you score on defense and you get that many turnovers to not be able to find a way to win, but we just couldn’t muster up much offensively,” Gundy said. “We couldn’t get much stability. We did hit on a couple of big plays, but we just couldn’t muster up enough with where we’re at right now to keep rolling.”
Baylor (2-6, 2-6 Big 12) is coming off a 27-14 loss at Oklahoma, holding the Sooners to just 269 total yards including 76 yards on 31rushes.
Quarterback Charlie Brewer completed 30 of 56 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for another touchdown in the loss to the Sooners. He ranks second in rushing for the season for the Bears with 170 yards.
Since COVID-19 prevented Baylor from playing a nonconference game with Houston, the Bears could still schedule another contest for Dec. 19. But coach Dave Aranda told the Waco Tribune his team is zeroed in on Baylor’s final Big 12 contest of the season.
“We’re not looking that way right now,” Aranda said. “All eyes are on this Saturday and the game versus Oklahoma State. All of our focus is really on that.”
The Bears also are looking at the possibility of a fifth different starter at running back as injuries begin to mount up at the position. Redshirt freshman Jonah White could get the nod against the Cowboys. Had three carries for 18 yards and had nine receptions for another 63 yards against Oklahoma.
“I’m a big fan of his,” Aranda said of White. “In practice, there was a pass out of the backfield where he stuck his foot in the ground, made a guy miss and lowered his shoulder. Really, from the foot in the ground to the acceleration, it was like, ‘Who is that?’ . But, it’s cool when you have your moment and you take advantage of it.”
The Bears have rushed for an average of just 92.9 yards a game this season, but did rush for 207 yards against Kansas in the opener and 203 yards against Texas Tech.
Cowboys at Bears Betting Pick for December 12, 2020
The Cowboys hold a slim 20-18 series lead overall but the Bears are 10-6 in games played in Waco. Baylor won last year’s meeting 45-27 despite Hubbard’s 171-yard rushing performance. Charlie Brewer was 13 of 17 passing for 312 yards and a touchdown for Baylor in that game.
Cowboys at Bears Betting Pick:
Cowboys 24, Bears 14
Cowboys at Bears Best Bet for December 12, 2020
Baylor is coming off a pretty solid defensive effort in a 27-14 loss to Oklahoma, holding the Sooners to a season-low 269 yards of total offense. The Bears’ season scoring high came in a 47-14 win over Kansas in their season opener. After scoring 50 in a win over Texas Tech on Nov. 28, the Cowboys lost to TCU 29-22 last week.
Cowboys at Bears Best Bet: UNDER 49.5