The No. 14 Baylor Football team (7-2, 4-2) was handed its second loss of the season in a heartbreaking fashion as their comeback failed against TCU and the Horned Frogs (4-5, 2-4) earned a 30-28 victory. After news broke that former TCU head coach Gary Patterson and the school were parting ways following a 20+ year partnership and starting QB Max Duggan and RB Zach Evans were ruled out for the game, many Baylor fans assumed the Bears would easily demolish the battered Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. TCU has struggled immensely against not so great opponents this season, so a bruised team playing in its first game without Patterson at the helm seemed like a simply win. However, the Horned Frogs brought out their backup QB Chandler Morris (son of yuck former SMU and then former Arkansas head coach Chad Morris) who displayed one of the most outrageously spectacular performances I’ve ever seen in a young QB, much less one starting for the first time ever. The first half of the game was also an absolutely egregious and heinous showing of refs maybe in the history of everything. At one point, the refs seemed to have called 7 consecutive penalties and the game was already at over 2 hours by halftime. In the first quarter alone there were 6 total penalties for a loss of 65 yards and in the second, they called 5 for 45. The Bears went from 1 penalty for a loss of 10 yards in 2 games to 6 for a loss of 65 yards in this game. Despite Baylor’s strong efforts and second half almost-comeback, the Bears were unable to match Morris’ play and the Horned Frogs added a victory over a Top 25 opponent to their results list (sadly not every game is one where we successfully destroy our foes and scream joyous words throughout the majority of the day). Similar to how I wrote about the Baylor vs. Oklahoma State game, I’m not going to recap every Baylor drive since most of them were horrific 🙂 so instead I’ll address the ones where the Bears scored or where the defense and/or special teams made miraculous strides! Junior QB Gerry Bohanon completed 14 of 20 passing attempts for 214 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 interceptions and added 6 carries for 15 yards. The Bears totaled 393 offensive yards (averaging about 7 yards per play) and lost the penalty game with 6 for a loss of 65 yards compared to TCU’s 13 for a loss of 111 yards.
The Bears started the game strong after forcing a TCU punt on the Horned Frogs’ first drive following sophomore DL Gabe Hall’s sack of Morris for a loss of 8 yards and responding with senior RB Abram Smith rushing 48 yards on 1st down and adding 7 more yards before Bohanon completed a 7-yard pass to senior WR Tyquan Thornton in the endzone for the first score of the game, 7-0. The defense stepped up again after a massive TCU 1st down and senior S Jalen Pitre forced a fumble he recovered on the Bears’ 42, but the offense didn’t turn the turnover into any points. The Horned Frogs scored a TD of their own and the 1st quarter ended in a 7-7 tie. After TCU scored a field goal, Pitre broke up a Morris pass and Horned Frogs settled for another field goal, making their lead 13-7. On the Bears’ next drive, senior RB Trestan Ebner rushed for 11 yards on 2 carries, Smith added 8, and Bohanon threw a 4-yard pass to junior TE Ben Sims. Ebner ran twice for 3 yards, sandwiching Bohanon’s pass to senior WR R.J. Sneed for 5 yards. Bohanon threw a 17-yarder to Sims on 4th and 2 and Smith rushed for 6 yards on 2 carries to set up Bohanon’s 21-yard pass to sophomore TE Drake Dabney for a TD and Baylor’s 14-13 lead in the 2nd quarter. Despite senior LB Terrel Bernard recording a QB hurry and Pitre breaking up another pass, the Horned Frogs scored a field goal to take back the lead, 16-14 going into halftime.
Pitre broke up a TCU pass in the early third quarter, but TCU scored a TD and added to their 23-13 lead. However, Bohanon ran for 1 yard, Smith rushed for 32 on 3 carries, and Bohanon’s 42-yard pass to Thornton was a catch. Ebner ran the ball in 1-yard for his first rushing TD of the season and Baylor’s 23-21 score. TCU attempted a field goal on their next drive, but it was blocked by junior DL TJ Franklin and after Bohanon’s 49-yard completion to Thornton, Bohanon’s pass was intercepted to close the 3rd quarter. TCU scored in their first 4th quarter series to lead 30-21, but the Bears took almost 7 minutes off the clock in their commanding drive. Smith rushed for 14 yards on 2 carries, Bohanon threw a 20-yard pass to Thornton, and Ebner added 7 on the ground before a TCU facemask penalty moved the Bears upfield. Smith ran 3 yards on 2 carries, Ebner added 8, and Bohanon passed for 4-yards to Smith. Smith added 11 yards on 3 rushes and Bohanon connected with Thornton on a 4-yard TD to decrease the Horned Frogs’ lead to 30-28 with 5 minutes left. After senior S Christian Morgan broke up a pass, the TCU kicker somehow doinked the ball off the uprights and the Bears were within 2 points at 1:56 left in the game. Bohanon immediately threw a 32-yard pass to Sims and the Bears were helped with a TCU illegal substitution penalty. Ebner rushed for 9 yards on 2 carries and when Baylor was on 2nd and 10 at the TCU 34, Bohanon threw a pick to end the game.
3 Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including Smith (18 carries for 125 yards), Ebner (12 for 39 yards and 1 TD), and Bohanon (6 carries for 15 yards). 5 received passes including Thornton (5 catches for 121 yards and 2 TDs), Sims (4 catches for 53 yards), Smith (2 catches for 11 yards), Sneed (2 catches for 8 yards), and Dabney (1 catch for 21 yards and 1 TD). The defense amassed 52 tackles with 7 for a loss of 24 yards (Bernard, senior S JT Woods, Pitre, Hall, 2 forced fumbles (Pitre, Hall), 1 fumble recovery (Pitre), 5 pass breakups (Pitre, Morgan, junior CB Al Walcott), 1 blocked kick (Franklin), and 1 QB hurry (Bernard).
No. 18 Baylor will return home to face No. 4 Oklahoma on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT).