The day I hoped would never come finally arrived as Baylor lost their first game of the season. In the Baylor vs. Oklahoma game, the Bears barely (pun unintended) fell to the Sooners, losing 34-31 on a field goal and dropping to 9-1 on the year. Surprisingly, No. 12 Baylor played one of the most dominant first halves of football I’ve ever seen and I truly believed (prematurely, obviously) that they would achieve the upset over No. 10 Oklahoma by the time halftime arrived. In front of the largest crowd in McLane Stadium history and on College Game Day, the Bears gave up their undefeated record in thrilling and then depressing fashion. Junior QB Charlie Brewer completed 18 of 29 passing attempts for 194 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception and added 17 carries for 65 yards and 2 rushing TDs.
The first half of the game was truly magnificent for Baylor on both sides of the ball. Although the offense didn’t score on their first possession (which should have been expected at this point), the defense held an explosive Oklahoma offense to a field goal after senior DT Bravvion Roy recorded the first sack on QB Jalen Hurts for a loss of 4 yards. When the offense got the ball back, Brewer immediately connected with senior WRs Denzel Mims and Chris Platt on passes of 11 and 14 yards. Brewer added a 7 yard rush and junior RB John Lovett ran for 5 more yards before sophomore WR Josh Fleeks caught a 2-yard pass, sophomore WR R.J. Sneed snagged an 11-yarder, and Lovett received a 24-yard bomb. At the 2 yard line, Brewer ran in a 2-yard score to take the lead. Oklahoma’s next possession ended in a 3-and-out after senior LB Blake Lynch and sophomore LB Terrel Bernard combined to sack Hurts for a loss of 8 yards. Brewer rushed for 15 yards on 2 carries and senior RB JaMycal Hasty added a 9-yard run prior to Mims’ 30-yard catch for a TD. Oklahoma moved the ball downfield quickly on their next drive, but B. Lynch sacked Hurts again for a loss of 15 yards, which forced a fumble that Bernard recovered on OU’s 27.
At the start of the second quarter, Brewer rushed for 23 yards and easily ran in a 4-yard TD to make the Baylor lead 21-3. The Sooners moved the ball all the way to Baylor’s 36 yard line until junior CB Grayland Arnold intercepted Hurts and ran back 71 yards. Brewer capitalized on the field position and threw a 9-yard pass to Mims for the score. Oklahoma scored following a controversial late holding call on Baylor to make the score 28-10. The Bears ran a 5 minute drive before the end of the first half, which resulted in a 28-yard field goal by redshirt freshman K John Mayers, closing the quarter at 31-10.
While the first half saw 30 minutes of pure brilliance by Baylor, the final two quarters were…rough. Oklahoma easily overcame a three-score deficit as their offense stayed on the field basically the entire third quarter and most of the fourth. The disparity in possession resulted in a completely wiped out Baylor defense (for good reason) and an offense that looked like a different team after halftime. Although there aren’t any great observations or notes about the Bears’ offense in the third and fourth quarters, the defense still had a few bright spots. Oklahoma’s first drive of the third quarter had two QB hurries by junior DE James Lynch and senior CB Chris Miller. Miller also forced a fumble at the 9 minute mark of the quarter that was recovered by Oklahoma’s offense, but J. Lynch forced another fumble that he recovered in the end zone for a touchback. J. Lynch came up with a QB hurry again midway through the fourth quarter and Bernard and Williams added a sack for a loss of 4 yards on the Sooners’ penultimate drive.
5 Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including Brewer (17 carries for 65 yards and 2 TDs), Hasty (3 carries for 42 yards), Lovett (1 carry for 5 yards), Fleeks (1 carry for 2 yards), and junior RB Trestan Ebner (1 carry for minus 1 yard). 6 received passes including Mims (6 catches for 92 yards and 2 TDs), Lovett (2 catches for 34 yards), Sneed (3 catches for 34 yards), Platt (3 catches for 27 yards), Fleeks (3 catches for 6 yards), and sophomore WR Tyquan Thornton (1 catch for 1 yard). Baylor’s defense amassed double the number of Oklahoma’s tackles at 96(!!!!) with 6 for a loss of 33 yards (Bernard, Williams, Roy, B. Lynch, freshman DT T.J. Franklin), 4 sacks for a loss of 31 yards (Bernard, Williams, Roy, B. Lynch), 5 forced fumbles (Miller, senior S Henry Black, B. Lynch, J. Lynch, redshirt freshman CB Mark Milton), 2 fumble recoveries (Bernard, J. Lynch), 1 interception returned 71 yards (Arnold), 5 pass breakups (Miller, Williams, junior CB Raleigh Texada, J. Lynch, sophomore CB Kalon Barnes), and 4 QB hurries (Bernard, B. Lynch, J. Lynch).
The Bears will face Texas in Waco on November 23 at 2:30 p.m. (CT).