The Baylor Bears were not supposed to be here. Third-string quarterback Jacob Zeno certainly wasn’t supposed to be on the field. But the storybook ending Baylor set up for itself came crashing down in the end as the Oklahoma Sooners withstood the comeback and held on to win the Big 12 Championship game, 30-23, in overtime.
This victory, coupled with Utah’s loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship, gives the Sooners (12-1) a solid resume to be one of the four teams selected for the College Football Playoff this year. Their fate will likely come down to the outcome of the SEC Championship between LSU and Georgia and how it shakes out (though we’re also presuming Ohio State wins in the Big Ten title game).
In the meantime, the Sooners can celebrate their fifth-consecutive Big 12 title.
Early on, it looked like the Sooners were going to walk away with this one. Oklahoma took a 10-0 lead in AT&T Stadium and seemed to have all the momentum. CeeDee Lamb, in particular, put on quite the performance as the unstoppable wide receiver seemed to mow through the Baylor defense.
BIG12 CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
CeeDee Lamb sets up Oklahoma for a TD a couple plays later! Oklahoma up 7-0 on Baylor early! pic.twitter.com/BdXvd25yaX
— Boom, It’s Football! (@BoomItsFBALL) December 7, 2019
However, some Oklahoma turnovers opened the door in the second quarter. QB Jalen Hurts fumbled the ball away, leading to a Baylor field goal. Then, he threw an interception that was turned into a 33-yard touchdown pass by Baylor’s Gerry Bohanon to Tyquan Thornton.
Gerry Bohanon was either gonna throw a TD or an INT on this one. Worked out pretty well. Tie game. pic.twitter.com/YxX6qZDLIm
— Max Olson (@max_olson) December 7, 2019
Bohanon had entered the game after starting quarterback Charlie Brewer left with a head injury. However, the QB changes wouldn’t end there for the Bears. In the third quarter, Oklahoma extended it’s lead to 23-13 before third-string Baylor QB Jacob Zeno entered the game. On his very first pass of the day, he connected with Tresten Ebner for an 81-yard touchdown.
TOUCHDOWN BAYLOR! 🐻
— The Sideline Report (@SidelineReport_) December 7, 2019
On his second pass attempt, Zeno found Chris Platt for an 80-yard gain. That set up a game-tying field goal with 3:25 left that ultimately propelled the two teams into overtime.
Zeno throws a dime hauled in by Chris Platt for a 78-yard gain.
— CFB Kings (@CFBKings) December 7, 2019
In overtime, Oklahoma scored easily on a five-yard run by Rhamondre Stevenson. The Sooner defense then shut down Baylor on the ensuing possession and won the game.
Big 12 Champs! Oklahoma beats Baylor for the second time this season, 30-23. Sooners playoff chances are alive and well.
— CollegeFB News (@CollegeFBNCAA) December 7, 2019
Big 12 title in hand, Oklahoma now waits to find out its postseason fate later tonight.