1: 38 AM ET
Sam Khan Jr.ESPN Staff Writer
- Covers Texas A&M and the SEC.
- Joined ESPN in 2012.
- Graduate of the University of Houston.
WACO, Texas –Oklahomakept its College Football Playoff hopes alive by putting together its biggest comeback win in school history.
The No. 10 Sooners climbed out of a 25 – point deficit against No. 13Baylorto give the Bears their first loss of the season, escaping McLane Stadium with a 34 – 31 win.
The effort was also the best against a CFP-ranked team in the playoff era. Since 2014, teams were a combined 0 – 162 when trailing a CFP-ranked team by 25 or more points . The 21 – point halftime deficit Oklahoma overcame is the largest a team has overcome to beat an FBS team that entered the game 9-0 or better since NCAA classification began in 1937, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
“There’s always a way, “Oklahoma quarterbackJalen Hurtssaid afterward. “And I think we truly believe that. I know y’all didn’t think we were going to come back and win.”
The Sooners (9-1), who were without leading receiver and ESPN midseason All-AmericanCeeDee Lamb, dug themselves a sizable hole, sputtering offensively in the first half. Lamb, who is tied for the nation’s lead with 13 touchdown receptions, was held out because of a “medical decision,” coach Lincoln Riley said afterward.
Lamb’s status for the Sooners’ next game, Nov. 23 vs. TCU, is unclear, Riley said.
Without Lamb, Hurts struggled early on, throwing for just 80 yards and turning the ball over twice in the first half. Baylor (9-1) LED 28 – 3 at one point and 31 – 10 at the half.
Oklahoma’s defense, which allowed 89 points in the Sooners’ previous two games, made a huge turnaround, shutting out Baylor in the second half and coming up with two turnovers. The turnovers ended a drought with which the Sooners had entered the game, not having had a takeaway since Sept. 28 in a win over Texas Tech.
“Man, it was a great relief to see a good momentum swing coming out of the half,” said cornerbackParnell Motley, who forced Baylor’s first turnover. “Things weren’t going our way early in the game, people doubted us, turned their heads and probably turned off the TV. … But we kept our head in the game, we didn’t give up, we knew it was a long game and we just kept fighting. “