No. 13 Oklahoma tops Baylor, earns trip to Big 12 title game

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NORMAN, Okla. — Spencer Rattler’s pass hit a Baylor defender in the hands, then somehow landed in Brayden Willis’ arms for a touchdown.

It was that kind of night for Oklahoma  — ugly, but good enough. Rattler threw two touchdown passes, and the 13th-ranked Sooners defeated Baylor 27-14 on Saturday night to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Oklahoma (7-2, 6-2 Big 12, No. 11 CFP) lost its first two conference games before winning six straight to earn the right to play Iowa State in the title game, which is scheduled for Dec. 19.

“It’s a really good accomplishment coming back from what this team has the entire year,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said.

Rhamondre Stevenson ran for a touchdown and had 98 yards from scrimmage for Oklahoma. The Sooners were limited to just 269 yards, but they did just enough in the second half.

“We knew if we put a couple of things together, things would start to work,” Rattler said. “We stuck to the script and reads. We were off on a few little things tonight. We didn’t put together a clean game. We’ll work on that moving forward.”

Riley blamed himself.

“I thought our guys weren’t coached worth a damn this week to be completely honest,” he said. “I don’t think us as offensive coaches did a very good job putting our guys in positions to succeed.”

Oklahoma could not play last week because of COVID-19 issues and its game with West Virginia was postponed. With the coaching staff short-handed, former Sooners coach Bob Stoops was permitted to help with practice as OU prepared for Baylor.

The Sooners held Baylor (2-6, 2-6) to 288 yards, including 25 yards rushing. They did it without several key players, including linebacker Nik Bonitto, defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles and safety Pat Fields.

Baylor’s offense was short-handed as well. The Bears were without running back John Lovett, and running back Trestan Ebner was injured in the first half. Tight end Ben Sims also was hurt during the game.

Baylor coach Dave Aranda said the rushing effort was unacceptable, even with the injuries.

“We have to be able to run the ball better, and tonight was unacceptable, and we just have to be able to run the football,” he said.

Baylor’s Charlie Brewer completed 30 of 56 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for another score.

The Sooners finally broke through on Stevenson’s 3-yard touchdown run with 1:04 left in the first half. The Sooners led 10-0 at halftime, despite being limited to 99 total yards.

Baylor kicker John Mayers, who made the game-winning field goal against Kansas State the previous week, missed two field goals in the first half. The Bears gained just 110 yards before the break. It was the first time since 2015 that the Sooners held a Big 12 opponent scoreless in a first half.

Baylor finally scored in the third quarter when Brewer found Tyquan Thornton for a 25-yard score on fourth down after a penalty against the Sooners gave the Bears an extra chance.

Oklahoma pushed the lead to 20-7 on a 50-yard field goal by Gabe Brkic early in the fourth quarter, and Rattler’s touchdown pass to Willis put the Sooners in control.

Brewer scored a short rushing touchdown with 59 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.