Historically (aside from last year) the Bears have struggled to secure victories following a win. After a particularly stunning success, Baylor (2-6, 2-6) often loses the next game. It’s uncertain whether the team’s energy has been exhausted or the subsequent opponents are just simply better, but the Bears followed this pattern as they defeated Kansas State in a last second field goal last week and dropped a 27-14 decision against No. 11 Oklahoma (7-2, 6-2) in the Baylor vs. Oklahoma matchup on Saturday. The defense played arguably one of their best full games this season (Christian Morgan is a STAR and I’m not referencing the position), but missed field goals and offensive struggles cost the game once again. I will give the team credit for their perseverance as they lost multiple essential players to injury along with the several who are already out indefinitely (thankfully next week is the final game of the season). Senior QB Charlie Brewer completed 30 of 56 passing attempts for 263 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions and rushed 13 times for 1 total yard. The Bears collected 8 penalties for 63 yards and somehow finished with more offensive yards than Oklahoma—288 to their 269. A fun stat is that the Sooners have been held to 269 yards or fewer 10 times since 2000, with two times by Baylor.
Despite a strong QB hurry by senior LB William Bradley-King during Oklahoma’s first possession, the Sooners scored a 20-yard field goal at the 10 minute marker to go up 3-0. When the Bears got the ball, senior RB Trestan Ebner rushed for 1 yard on 2 carries and Brewer completed passes of 4 and 10 yards to sophomore WR Tyquan Thornton and junior WR R.J. Sneed. Brewer threw an incomplete pass to Sneed before getting a first down on a 15-yard completion to sophomore TE Ben Sims. After 2 consecutive incomplete passes to Sims and Thornton, Brewer connected with Ebner for 6 yards and sophomore WR Gavin Holmes for 7. Brewer rushed for a loss of 1 yard, missed Thornton, and tossed a 4-yard ball to Ebner before sophomore K John Mayers missed a 46-yard field goal, making the entire 5 minute drive moot. Baylor’s defense held Oklahoma to minus 6 yards in 3 plays as junior S/LB Jalen Pitre sacked QB Spencer Rattler for a loss of 10 yards and tackled a receiver for a loss of 1 yard on a 3 and out. Baylor’s offense couldn’t get much going either with Brewer rushing for no gain, Thornton catching a 6-yard pass, and Brewer throwing an incomplete to junior WR Josh Fleeks. Mayers kicked another field goal from 47 yards, but missed this one as well. The defense showed up once again, only allowing OU 2 offensive yards on 3 plays for their last possession of the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Ebner rushed for 3 yards, Fleeks ran for no gain, and Brewer threw a 3-yard pass to Holmes before the Bears punted the ball away. Sophomore DT Josh Landry sacked Rattler for a loss of 10 yards and the defense forced another OU 3 and out, holding them to negative 1 yard. Baylor collected a penalty for a false start, but Brewer responded with a 39-yard pass to redshirt freshman WR Jaylen Ellis. Brewer threw 2 incomplete passes to Ellis and Sneed and Ebner rushed for a loss of 1 yard before a QB hurry and Brewer’s pass intercepted and returned 34 yards to the Baylor 49. The defense held up though and OU lost 2 offensive yards on their possession. Fleeks rushed for 1 yard, Brewer threw an incomplete pass, and Brewer got sacked for a loss of 7 yards before punting the ball back. OU moved the ball downfield, but junior S Christian Morgan ended the drive with an interception at Baylor’s 2 yard line. The Bears’ offense couldn’t turn the pick into points as Ebner rushed for a loss of 1 yard on 2 carries and Brewer ran for no gain. A short Baylor punt put OU in the Bears’ territory, which allowed them to easily score a TD and increase their lead to 10-0 at the 1 minute mark. Brewer threw an incomplete pass, freshman RB Taye McWilliams rushed for 4 yards and redshirt freshman RB Jonah White ran 17 yards, but Brewer threw another incomplete pass and had a QB hurry to end the first half.
When the Bears got the ball to start the third quarter, Fleeks caught a 4-yard pass before Brewer got sacked for a loss of 13 yards and White rushed for no gain. The Sooners scored a TD on a 9-yard run, increasing their lead to 17-0. Brewer completed consecutive passes of 6 and 3 yards to sophomore TE Tyler Henderson and White before White ran for 1 yard. Brewer’s 18 and 9-yard completions to Thornton and Henderson sandwiched 2 incompletions to Ellis and junior TE Christoph Henle. Brewer connected with Sneed on a 7-yard pass, threw an incomplete pass to Thornton, and rushed for 2 yards, before throwing a 25-yard bullet to Thornton in the endzone for a TD and 7-17 score. OU only had the ball for 2 minutes and gained 2 yards before Baylor’s defense forced a 3 and out. Brewer threw a 6-yard pass to White, missed a receiver, and rushed for 8 yards. Brewer’s next incompletion was caused by a pass interference, moving the Bears up to the OU 40. Brewer’s next 3 consecutive passes were incomplete and on his 4th down attempt, he was intercepted. OU moved the ball up 31 yards before the end of the third quarter.
Morgan sacked Rattler for a loss of 9 yards, forcing the Sooners to kick and make a 50 yard field goal for a 20-7 lead. Brewer rushed for 2 yards before an OU personal foul moved the ball up to Baylor’s 44. Brewer threw 2 incomplete passes and rushed for no gain, so the Bears had to punt the ball back to Oklahoma who scored on a 6 minute 80 yard drive for a 27-7 lead. Baylor responded with an extra long series of their own as Brewer completed 5(!!!) consecutive passes with 4 to White (14, 11, 0, 8 yards) and 1 to Holmes (9 yards) before 2 incompletions to Holmes and another 6 yarder to White. Brewer completed 2 more passes of 17 and 9 yards to Sneed and White, respectively, and threw an incomplete ball to Henderson. Brewer’s pass-happy series continued with 2 completions to Holmes for 6 and 3 yards and 2 to redshirt freshman RB Jacoby Clarke for 2 total yards. Brewer rushed for 7 yards, threw an incomplete pass, and ran 2 yards into the endzone for a TD, making the score 27-14 after 17 plays and 96 yards. With 1 minute left, the Bears held Oklahoma to 5 yards on 3 plays, but when the offense got the ball for 30 seconds, Brewer threw an incomplete pass to Sneed, rushed for 8 yards on 2 carries, and threw a 6-yard pass to White before getting sacked for a loss of 8 yards as time expired.
5 Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including White (3 carries for 18 yards), McWilliams (1 carry for 4 yards), Ebner (7 carries for 1 yard), Brewer (13 carries for 1 yard and 1 TD), and Fleeks (2 carries for 1 yard). 10 received passes including White (9 catches for 63 yards), Thornton (4 catches for 53 yards and 1 TD), Ellis (1 catch for 39 yards), Sneed (3 catches for 34 yards), Holmes (5 catches for 28 yards), Henderson (2 catches for 15 yards), Sims (1 catch for 15 yards), Ebner (2 catches for 10 yards), Fleeks (1 catch for 4 yards), and Clarke (2 catches for 2 yards). Baylor’s monster of a defense amassed 60 tackles with 11 for a loss of 40 yards (junior LB Abram Smith, Morgan, Landry, Pitre, sophomore DE TJ Franklin, senior LB Michael McNair), 4 sacks for a loss of 30 yards (Smith, Morgan, Landry, Pitre), 1 interception (Morgan), 2 pass breakups (Pitre, senior CB Raleigh Texada), and 1 QB hurry (Bradley-King).
Baylor will close the season against No. 15/19 Oklahoma State (6-3, 5-3) at 6 p.m. in Waco on December 12.