Baylor Drops Big 12 Finale at No. 23 Texas, 38-27

Gabe Hall against No. 23 Texas
Photo credit: Eric Gay – Associated Press

Despite a quick and hot start for the Baylor Football team (6-6, 4-5) in their matchup against No. 23 Texas (8-4, 6-3), the Bears’ end result was the same as their last three consecutive games—a loss, with this week’s being 38-27. Baylor opened the game firing with a similar look as they had in their near-upset of No. 4 TCU: a punchy defense and dominant O-line to allow sophomore QB Blake Shapen enough time to connect with 7 different receivers. Unlike last year’s game against the Longhorns where the Bears’ defense held star Texas RB Bijan Robinson to only 43 rushing yards, Robinson exploded in the second half, finishing with 29 carries for 179 yards and 2 TDs. Statistically, the Bears performed greatly against No. 23 Texas with most of the issues coming from the offensive side of the ball (similarly to what’s occurred in the last three games) and on special teams due to interceptions, one horrific muffed punt that set the Longhorns up for a TD, and a missed field goal. The Bears totaled 280 offensive yards to No. 23 UT’s 402 and the former held the ball for 33:24 compared to the latter’s 26:36.

Shapen completed 18 of 36 passing attempts for 2 TDs and 1 interception and he added 7 carries for no gain. 3 other Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including freshman RB Richard Reese (15 carries for 54 yards), junior RB Qualan Jones (14 carries for 45 yards), and junior RB Craig “Sqwirl” Williams (3 carries for 2 yards). 7 received passes including Q. Jones (6 catches for 14 yards), redshirt freshman WR Josh Cameron (4 catches for 22 yards), sophomore WR Monaray Baldwin (3 catches for 35 yards), sophomore WR Hal Presley (2 catches for 15 yards), junior WR Jaylen Ellis (1 catch for 47 yards and 1 TD), 5th year TE Ben Sims (1 catch for 14 yards and 1 TD), and freshman TE Kelsey Johnson (1 catch for 2 yards). The defense had quite a day against No. 23 Texas, amassing 75 tackles with 6 for a loss of 53 yards (senior S Al Walcott, 5th year S Christian Morgan, junior DL Gabe Hall, senior DL TJ Franklin, 5th year DL Jaxon Player, 6th year LB Bryson Jackson), 5 sacks for a loss of 51 yards (Walcott, Morgan, Hall, Franklin, Jackson), 2 forced fumbles (Walcott), 2 fumble recoveries returned 0 yards (redshirt freshman S Devin Lemear) and 16 yards for a TD (Hall), and 2 pass break ups (sophomore CB Lorando Johnson, redshirt freshman LB Jackie Marshall).

Baylor will learn which bowl game they’ll play in during December 4th’s selection announcement.