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Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley blasts controversial Baylor field goal after fans had rushed field in Bears’ win

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No. 13 Baylor experienced one of the strangest endings to a game this season in its 27-14 victory vs. No. 8 Oklahoma on Saturday after a shrewd call by Bears coach Dave Aranda confused fans and forced students to return to the stands after they had rushed the field to run one additional play.

The Bears held a 24-14 lead and had the ball at the Oklahoma 14-yard line with the clock running down as fans started to storm the field. However, with the game already decided, Aranda called a timeout with three seconds remaining to set up a field goal.  Aranda said after the game that the field goal was an attempt to increase Baylor’s scoring margin in case of a potential tiebreaker in the Big 12 Championship Game race. 

“It was something that we talked about earlier in the week,” Aranda said. “We were really trying not to let them score [a final touchdown] and unfortunately that didn’t happen. When that didn’t happen, we wanted to get back on the scoreboard to help with that differential.” 

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Baylor’s losses came to Oklahoma State by 10 points in October and to TCU by two points so a 13-point win could help eclipse the slip-up if the scores were ultimately compared. After several minutes of mayhem, officials ultimately pushed students to the sideline and Baylor kicker Isaiah Hankins nailed a 32-yard field goal to arrive at the 27-14 final score. 

The move irked Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, whose players trudged to the locker room as Baylor fans entered the playing surface. 

“It became a safety issue,” Riley said. “I know why Dave tried to kick the field goal, but there’s a code of sportsmanship that I think you have to follow. I wouldn’t have done it.” 

Riley told officials he refused to bring his players back out from the locker room, where most of the team went after students started rushing the field. He also demanded a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct for fans breaking the playing surface, which the officials declined to call.

“I don’t believe the situation was handled well by a lot of people,” Riley said. “But at the end of the day, doing it with class is important to me and at the end of the day, we decided to bring 11 guys back out even though I damn well didn’t want to.” 

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While score differential is one of the Big 12 tiebreakers, it’s questionable how likely the metric is to come up down the stretch. The metric is considered the No. 3 Big 12 tiebreaker, behind a “mini round-robin” and a complicated series of head-to-head comparisons. Score differential is only one spot up from a physical draw from a metaphorical hat. 

Baylor beat Oklahoma 27-14 while holding the Sooners to just 260 yards, the worst yardage and scoring outputs of the Lincoln Riley era. The win was the first win for the Bears over Oklahoma since 2014, and he first ever win over the Sooners at McLane Stadium. 

The win puts Baylor squarely at No. 3 in the Big 12 standings with an 8-2 record and 5-2 record in conference. The Bears need to win out and Oklahoma to lose another game to comfortably get into the Big 12 title game. A handful of November results could push the race into chaos. 

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