How does a traditional doormat fare when it loses its best offensive lineman, top running back, and second-leading receiver in its toughest game of the season to date, arguably the most important game in school history?
If you're Baylor, you pull away for an impressive 41-12 win over Oklahoma, a result all the more impressive taking into account the injuries suffered during the game. The most troubling was the dislocated wrist that will put wide receiver Tevin Reese on the shelf for the rest of the regular season.
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Reese averaged an absurd 25.0 yards on his 33 catches in his senior season, with all but one of his eight touchdown connections covering at least 44 yards (the other a meager 25 yards). A 5-foot-10, 170-pound burner that will draw natural comparisons to DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reese ranked second among the Bears in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
Head coach Art Briles indicated that Reese could be available for a bowl game.
Junior Clay Fuller and redshirt junior Levi Norwood stepped in and picked up the slack against the Sooners, combining for seven receptions, 124 yards and one touchdown.
Running backs Lache Seastrunk (groin) and Glasco Martin (knee) managed just six carries apiece before exiting the game, but redshirt freshman Shock Linwood erupted for 182 yards on 23 carries.
Dominant left guard Cyril Richardson also came out with an apparent groin injury, but BU still averaged 5.7 yards per play with nearly identical balance between the run and pass (255 rushing yards, 280 passing).
"We finally have Big 12-quality depth and that's something I've been saying for about a year," Briles said. "When you lose Lache, Glasco, and Tevin Reese, and you still maintain and are still effective, that's a good thing."
It's not only Big 12-quality depth, but legitimate NFL talent across the roster that has its first conference championship since 1974 within BU's grasp.