The 19th-ranked Sooners look to bounce back from another loss while trying to continue their dominance over visiting Baylor in this Big 12 opener Saturday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made Oklahoma -25 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 56% of bets for this game have been placed on Oklahoma -25 (View College Football bet percentages).
Ranked third to open the season and poised to contend for a national championship, Oklahoma (2-2) is all but out of the title race and left hoping for a fourth straight Big 12 crown after a 21-20 loss at then-No. 17 Miami last Saturday.
The result came almost a month after the Sooners fell to then-No. 20 BYU 14-13 in Arlington, Texas, where they lost Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford to a shoulder injury in the process.
"No one likes to lose here,'' said Landry Jones, who's thrown 10 touchdowns and three interceptions as Bradford's replacement. "We've just got to get ready for Baylor, and come out there and play our hardest and take care of business.''
Oklahoma, which couldn't hold a 10-0 lead against the Hurricanes, needs to find a way to do that, quickly, as they embark on conference play. The Sooners could get a boost if Bradford is able to return.
Bradford has thrown in practice, but some lingering soreness kept him out of last week's contest, so he's setting his sights on a possible return this week.
"To win another Big 12 championship and become the first team to win four straight Big 12 championships, I still think there's a lot in front of this team," said Bradford, who's thrown for 725 yards and five touchdowns in two games against Baylor.
Though the Sooners could likely get by without Bradford as they to improve to 19-0 all-time versus Baylor (3-1), he might want to get game action under his belt with the Red River Rivalry Game against No. 2 Texas set for Oct. 17.
"I guess I'm clear," said Bradford, who's 10 for 14 with a touchdown in less than two quarters of play this season. "Obviously, I guess it really just has to go through the week without any excess soreness after the throwing."
With or without Bradford, the Sooners could find themselves relying on running back DeMarco Murray, who was held to 80 yards on 23 carries last week, but has rushed for 191 yards on 39 attempts with five TDs in two games versus Baylor.
In addition to Bradford, and tight end Jermaine Gresham out for the season with a knee injury, Ryan Broyles - the Sooners' leading receiver with 346 yards and seven touchdowns - will be out two to four weeks with a broken left shoulder blade.
"They're still a very good football team," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "Oklahoma is a very, very talented, well-coached, physical football team and we understand that."
Oklahoma's defense, however, has a chance to make a statement. Though the unit ranks fourth in the nation allowing 8.7 points per contest and 10th by giving up 253.0 yards per game, the Sooners yielded 21 straight points against Miami.
The Sooners, though, have had little problem taking care of the Bears. Only three of their 18 victories against Baylor have been decided by less than 10 points.
The Bears, who are without star quarterback Robert Griffin because of a knee injury, are coming off a 31-15 victory over Kent State last Saturday.
Making his collegiate debut, Nick Florence was 20 of 27 for 216 yards and rushed for 60 as the Bears compiled 374 total yards - including 216 on the ground.
Florence's second start could be more daunting in front of a packed house in Norman. The freshman could get help if senior running back Jay Finley is able to return after missing the last two contests with an ankle injury.
Finley's rushed for 212 yards on 22 carries this season, but just 64 on 15 attempts in two games against Oklahoma.
Baylor has lost 18 consecutive games against Top 25 opponents dating to a 35-34 overtime win over then-No. 16 Texas A&M on Oct. 30, 2004.
Posted: 10/6/09 11:25PM ET