The Bears won on Senior Night!!!!!! Coming off of a five game losing streak and two consecutive weeks of one score defeats, the Baylor vs. Kansas State (4-5, 4-4) matchup was decided on a last second field goal that earned the Bears (2-5, 2-5) their second victory of the season (their last win was against Kansas in the season opener)! The first half of play was undisciplined and uninspiring, worrying fans that the outcome might look similar to the previous devastating losses of the season. Fortunately, the offense found their stride and roared back in the second half to finally complete a comeback and secure their win. Senior QB Charlie Brewer had his best performance of the season, completing 31 of 39 passing attempts for 349 yards and 2 TDs and was the Bears’ leading rusher with 23 carries for 56 yards and 2 TDs. Brewer was quoted in the postgame press conference as saying “There’s no way we’re going to lose this game and they’re going to have to kill me to do it.” Baylor turned 2 Kansas State interceptions into 32 yards, collected 8 penalties for 87 yards, and finished with a season-high 420 total offensive yards. Prior to the game, the Baylor football seniors were honored in their last game at McLane Stadium. The celebrated athletes were (from left to right in above picture) William Bradley-King, Raleigh Texada, Jared Atkinson, Michael McNair, Trestan Ebner, Thor Rodoni, John Lovett, Jay Sedwick, Will Baxter, Blake Bedier, Blake Perdue, Jake Burton, Trystan Slinker, Skyler Wetzel, and Garrett McGuire.
Kansas State got the ball first and QB Will Howard’s third down pass was intercepted by junior S JT Woods and returned 32 yards to the Kansas 9 yard line. Brewer rushed for a loss of 3 yards, completed a 5-yard pass to junior WR R.J. Sneed, and ran 7 yards into the endzone for the first Baylor score. A botched snap left the Bears up 6-0 only 2 minutes into the game. However, the Wildcats immediately responded on a 75-yard kick return for a TD to take the lead, 7-6. On the Bears’ second series, Brewer was sacked 4 times for a loss of 14 total yards in between an 11-yard pass to sophomore TE Ben Sims, an incomplete pass to Sims, and RB John Lovett’s 1-yard rush. Baylor’s defense forced a Kansas State 3 and out, but RB Trestan Ebner muffed the punt return and the fumble was recovered by KSU, which they turned into a TD for the 14-6 lead. Lovett rushed for 1 yard and Brewer was sacked for a loss of 3 yards before throwing an incomplete pass to Sims and returning the ball to the Wildcats. Woods was disqualified for targeting on Kansas State’s 3rd and 1 before the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats moved up to the Baylor 8, but settled for a 20 yard field goal and increased their lead to 17-6. When the Bears got to the ball back, Brewer rushed for 7 yards, Lovett added no gain on the ground, and Brewer tossed a 2-yard pass to junior WR Josh Fleeks before punting the ball away. Kansas State again quickly moved downfield, but Howard’s pass was intercepted on 3rd and 10 by junior S Christian Morgan at the Baylor 32. Brewer completed passes of 9 and 7 yards to Lovett and Ebner around a 20-yard rush and 2 incomplete passes to sophomore WR Tyquan Thornton. Brewer rushed for 6 yards on 2 carries before being sacked for a loss of 1 yard. Brewer and Ebner connected on an 8-yard pass and Brewer was sacked again for a loss of 1 yard before throwing a 4-yard ball to Lovett and turning over on downs. The Wildcats also notched a turnover on downs and Brewer completed a 16-yard pass to Fleeks before Ebner ran for 4 yards as time expired in the second quarter.
The Bears got the ball to start the second half, so Lovett ran 1 yard and Brewer added 11 yards on the ground. Brewer threw a 44-yard pass to Ebner, which lit up the Baylor sideline, and threw an 8-yarder to Thornton to set up sophomore K John Mayers’ 28-yard field goal, making the score 9-17 Baylor. The Baylor defense quickly forced a 3 and out to give the offense the ball back within 2 minutes. Brewer threw an incomplete pass to Sneed before Lovett and Brewer notched 11 rushing yards on 2 carries. On first down, Sneed made an SC Top 10-worthy 35-yard catch at the Kansas State 17. Brewer rushed for 5 yards, lost 1 yard on an incomplete to Ebner, and threw another 23-yard bomb to Sneed for the score and pushed Baylor closer to tying the game at 15-17. The Wildcats had the ball for almost 4 minutes, but had to to punt back to the Bears where Lovett ran for a loss of 2 yards, caught a 4-yard pass, and Sneed notched a 16-yarder of his own (his second catch of the night that had to be reviewed). Lovett rushed for another 1-yard loss and Brewer added 4 yards, but was sacked for a loss of 6 yards at the end of the third quarter.
Baylor had to punt the ball away to start the fourth quarter and Kansas State immediately turned the possession into a TD, increasing their lead to 24-15 and starting a back-and-forth scoring quarter. Brewer threw 7 complete passes in the Bears’ drive with 11 yards to Sims on 2 catches, 7 to yards to Sneed on 2 catches, 12 yards to Thornton, 29 yards to Fleeks, and an 8-yard catch and TD to Ebner, making the score 24-22. Kansas State scored within 2 minutes (31-22), but Ebner returned their kickoff 40 yards to Baylor’s 46. Brewer completed passes of 5 and 20 yards to Sims and sophomore WR Gavin Holmes before running for 2 yards on 2 carries. Brewer threw 2 passes to Fleeks for 13 yards and benefited from a roughing the passer penalty, which moved the Bears up to KSU’s 14 on 1st and 10. Ebner rushed for a loss of 2 yards, but Brewer added 7 on the ground prior to throwing an 8-yard pass to Thornton and punching in the 1 yard score to put the Bears within 2 (31-29). The Baylor defense held the Wildcats to a punt, giving Brewer and co. 2:32 to kick a field goal or find the endzone. Brewer rushed for 5 yards and threw 4 consecutive passes for 45 yards to Holmes (6), Thornton (10), Sims (21), and Fleeks (8). Ebner rushed for 8 yards on 2 carries and Lovett lost 1 yard on 2 carries, so Mayers had 4 seconds to kick a 30-yard field goal and secure the comeback victory, which he nailed, putting the Bears over the top 32-31.
3 Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including Brewer (23 carries for 56 yards and 2 TDs), Ebner (4 carries for 10 yards), and Lovett (9 carries for 5 yards). 7 received passes including Sneed (6 catches for 86 yards and 1 TD), Fleeks (6 catches for 68 yards), Ebner (5 catches for 66 yards and 1 TD), Sims (5 catches for 48 yards), Thornton (4 catches for 38 yards), Lovett (3 catches for 17 yards), and Holmes (2 catches for 26 yards). Baylor’s defense amassed 41 tackles with 3 for a loss of 6 yards (junior S/LB Jalen Pitre, Morgan, CB Raleigh Texada), 2 interceptions returned 32 yards (Morgan, Woods for 32 yards), and 1 pass breakup (LB William Bradley-King).
Baylor will face No. 11 Oklahoma (6-2, 5-2) in Norman on December 5.