Baylor vs. TCU Recap

Baylor vs. TCU
Photo credit: AP Photo-Ron Jenkins

The final score of regulation time was the opposite of exhilarating and reminiscent of an SEC game, but the No. 12 Bears pulled out a 29-23 victory over TCU in triple overtime for their first win against the Horned Frogs since the 61-58 classic in 2014. Out of all the victories this season, I think few were desired more than a revenge win in Fort Worth in front of the most obnoxious and hostile fans (can you tell I give zero shits about objectivity right now?). Despite the overwhelmingly stressful and frustrating four quarters of play, Baylor showed once again their motivation to win made them the better team in the end. Nonetheless, the offense (looking at you, offensive line + Charlie partially) had a truly horrific day not unlike last week’s game against West Virginia, and they’ll need to prepare heavily for this week’s game against reigning Big 12 champion Oklahoma (who I also hate). Junior QB Charlie Brewer completed 27 of 41 passing attempts for 195 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception. The Bears recorded 2 turnovers (one fumble and one interception) and finished with 294 yards and 10 penalties for 67 yards.

Because neither team scored a touchdown in the entire regulation period, it’s difficult to discuss the offensive performances, so I’m going to mainly rehash the defensive efforts and a spectacular kicker on Baylor’s side. With six minutes left in the first quarter, TCU was marching toward a touchdown when junior CB Grayland Arnold (coming off an injury) intercepted QB Max Duggan’s pass at the Baylor 14 yard line. Senior LB Blake Lynch and DT Bravvion Roy recorded the Baylor defense’s first sack of the day in the beginning of the second quarter, forcing a loss of eight yards and a Horned Frogs punt. TCU had a 9-0 advantage entering the second half, but the Bears scored on a 36-yard field goal by redshirt freshman kicker John Mayers– one quarter after he missed a 32-yarder. Sophomore LB Terrel Bernard played lights out all day and snagged an interception of his own, returned 20 yards following Roy’s QB hurry. The pick set up Mayers’ second field goal of the day from 24 yards out, making the score 6-9 shortly into the fourth quarter. With 11 minutes left in the game, junior DT James Lynch recorded a QB hurry and Bernard sacked Duggan for a loss of 8 yards to force another Horned Frogs punt. The Bears came alive when the game was on the line (as usual) and Brewer rushed for 32 yards on 3 carries and passed to junior WR Jared Atkinson and sophomore WR Josh Fleeks for 9 yards a piece to get as close to field goal range as possible. The offense finished on TCU’s 34 yard line with 36 seconds left when head coach Matt Rhule sent Mayers in for the 51-yard game-tying field goal (and the longest and most important of his career). Miraculously, he sent the ball flying through the uprights and tied the game 9-9 to send the Bears and Horned Frogs into overtime.

Baylor got the ball first and senior RB JaMycal Hasty started with a 3-yard run before Brewer connected with senior WR Denzel Mims on a 12-yard pass to get the first down. However, sophomore WR R.J. Sneed was flagged for a personal foul, which moved the Bears back 15 yards. Brewer ran for 4 yards and allowed Sneed to make up for his error on an 11-yard catch for a second first down. Hasty added a 7-yard rush and Brewer ran the ball 3 yards in the end zone to take the 16-9 lead with Mayers’ made extra point. B. Lynch sacked Duggan for a loss of 4 yards on TCU’s possession, but the QB connected on an insane 24-yard pass on 4th and 9 to tie the game up.

TCU easily scored another TD in double overtime as Baylor’s defense looked exhausted throughout the series. Junior RB John Lovett rushed for 5 yards, but Brewer was unable to hit sophomore WR Tyquan Thornton on 3rd and 5. With one shot left, Mims caught a 20-yard pass for the score and another tied game, 23-23, taking the game into triple overtime. Brewer immediately completed a 21-yard pass to senior WR Chris Platt and hit Mims again for a 4-yard score, but their essential 2-point conversion failed. When TCU got the ball back, Duggan ran for 17 yards and what looked to be a TD, but he had stepped out twice, so the ball was placed at Baylor’s 3 yard line. A personal foul penalty on Roy moved the ball even closer, to Baylor’s 1, but TCU’s RB lost 3 yards on a rush, Duggan threw an incomplete pass, and the Horned Frogs collected a holding penalty, pushing the ball back to Baylor’s 14. On 4th and goal, Duggan threw a long ball, but Arnold intercepted it in the end zone and secured Baylor’s 29-23 victory!

Four Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including Brewer (15 carries for 41 yards and 1 TD), Lovett (8 carries for 37 yards), Hasty (9 carries for 22 yards), and junior RB Trestan Ebner (1 carry for minus 1 yard). 10 received passes including Mims (6 catches for 57 yards and 2 TDs), Fleeks (6 catches for 42 yards), Platt (2 catches for 32 yards), Thornton (3 catches for 19 yards), Sneed (2 catches for 15 yards), Hasty (2 catches for 13 yards), Atkinson (1 catch for 9 yards), redshirt freshman TE Ben Sims (2 catches for 5 yards), Lovett (1 catch for 3 yards), and Ebner (2 catches for 0 yards). Baylor’s defense, especially the linebackers, had an incredible day and amassed 84(!!!) tackles with 9 for a loss of 29 yards (Bernard, B. Lynch, senior LB Jordan Williams, J. Lynch, senior DE James Lockhart, Roy, senior S Henry Black), 3 sacks for a loss of 20 yards (Bernard, B. Lynch, Roy), 3 interceptions returned 20 yards (Bernard, Arnold x2), 1 pass breakup (J. Lynch), and 4 QB hurries (J. Lynch, Roy).

The Bears will host College Game Day and face Oklahoma (still vomiting) on November 16 at 6:30 p.m. (CT).