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Baylor makes playoff race case, knocks off No. 6 Oklahoma State

Don’t count Baylor out just yet.

No. 10 Baylor knocked off No. 6 Oklahoma State, 45-35, on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. One week after suffering their first loss, a 44-34 setback against Oklahoma, the Bears made a case to get right back in the race for a College Football Playoff berth with a road win over a top-10 team.

Here’s how it happened:

How the game was won: Ground game and defense. Sounds just like the Big 12, huh? The Bears' running game was dominant and their defense was solid -- even stellar at times -- in the double-digit win. Baylor, the Big 12’s leading rushing offense, got back on track with 73 carries for 304 yards and three touchdowns after combining for 262 rushing yards against Kansas State and Oklahoma the past two games. The Bears' defense did its part, forcing five first-half three-and-outs from Oklahoma State’s offense, allowing the Bears to control the game throughout. The Cowboys finished with 441 total yards and averaged 6 yards per play. Oklahoma State entered the game averaging 497.3 yards per game and 6.6 yards per play.

Unsung hero: Defensive tackle Andrew Billings set the tone in the middle of Baylor’s defense. The junior was a disruptive force with two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and three total tackles in the win. He had been slowed by an ankle injury in recent weeks, but against the Cowboys, he looked like the healthy Billings who had dominated throughout much of the season. He helped shut down Oklahoma State's run offense as the Cowboys finished with 23 carries for 8 yards, averaging 0.3 yards per carry.

What the win means for Baylor: The Bears are right back in the mix. A comfortable win in the home of the nation’s No. 6 team should help bring Baylor back into the CFP conversation. And Baylor’s hopes for a third straight Big 12 title are very much alive. It was an impressive response to Baylor’s first loss of the season, particularly considering the Bears used their No. 2 (Jarrett Stidham) and No. 3 quarterback (Chris Johnson) in the win. Baylor visits TCU on Black Friday, Nov. 27.

What the loss means for Oklahoma State: The Cowboys' national title hopes look to be over. Mike Gundy’s team still may have a shot at a Big 12 title, but it will need help after the loss to the Bears. The Cowboys need a victory in Bedlam, then either TCU or Texas to knock off Baylor if they hope to win the conference title. Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma in Bedlam on Nov. 28.