The 2019-20 season was arguably one of the most successful in Baylor Athletics history as most of the sports had some of their best (and for the winter sports, record-breaking) results. I miss watching sports so much, especially since March Madness was cancelled (the second greatest time of year), so I wanted to compile my top five favorite Baylor Athletics moments from the past academic year. Of course, I could list only football games from the past year, but I thought I’d switch it up and include decisions from more of my most loved sports in my favorite Baylor Athletics season!
- #12 Baylor Football defeats TCU in triple overtime, 29-23, on November 9: The game itself was incredibly stressful and less than stellar on the scoring front, but the Bears excelled over my second least favorite team in the conference for the first time in 5 years (since the classic 61-58 decision in 2014) in arguably the most exciting overtime finale. Here’s what I wrote in my recap of the game to cover the end of regulation through the three overtime victory:
The offense finished on TCU’s 34 yard line with 36 seconds left when head coach Matt Rhule sent [sophomore K John] 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. [Junior QB Charlie] 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. [Senior LB Blake] Lynch sacked [TCU QB Max 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 [senior DT Bravvion] 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 [junior CB Grayland] Arnold intercepted it in the end zone and secured Baylor’s 29-23 victory!
- #4 Baylor Men’s Basketball defeats #3 Kansas for first win ever in Lawrence, 67-55, on January 11: There is quite possibly no greater feeling than beating a team one has never beat before, and, in front of the opponent’s fans? So much sweeter. The Baylor men’s basketball team earned my second favorite Baylor Athletics moment of the 2019-20 season when they secured their first victory ever in Allen Fieldhouse (after 16 consecutive losses in Lawrence)—an arena so devastating to non-Kansas challengers, that most, if not all, leave without a win each year. The Bears’ starting five (G Davion Mitchell, G Jared Butler, F Freddie Gillespie, F Tristan Clark, and G Macio Teague) showed one of their best cohesive performances, and, including the boys off the bench, shot .450 in FGs, .421 in 3s, and .714 in FTs, while collecting 31 rebounds, 9 steals, and only 5 turnovers. The victory came only four days after Baylor beat No. 22 Texas Tech, and they would win each of their next 11 games until the Jayhawks returned the favor in Waco.
- #6 Baylor Women’s Basketball defeats #1 UConn in Hartford and snaps Huskies’ 98-game home-court winning streak, 74-58, on January 9: The Lady Bears are the most consistent victors in the whole of Baylor Athletics (check their 21 Big 12 regular season and tournament titles and 3 national championship titles), specifically during the current Kim Mulkey era, and the University of Connecticut falls in the same category of persistent champions. Baylor WBB earned their most recent national title in 2019 (where they snapped the Huskies’ 126 consecutive regular-season win streak) and were back in 2020 to continue their success run. After dropping to #6 in regular-season polls, the Lady Bears pulled together to demolish top-ranked UConn in Hartford as three of the ladies, PG Te’a Cooper, F NaLyssa Smith, and F Lauren Cox scored in the double digits with 27, 20, and 16 points, respectively.
- #18 Baylor football defeats Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 45-27, on November 19: The Bears delivered their most dominant victory of the season since their nonconference win against UTSA as rallied past the Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. The win was just the second time the Bears had ever won in Stillwater (remember the 2015 classic where third backup QB Chris Johnson led the Bears to their first win at OSU since 1939??) and it was one of the few times during the 2019 football season where I felt confident and calm throughout most of the game due to the large margin of victory (no wonder it was one of my favorite Baylor Athletics moments!). I wrote these two paragraphs about the second half of the game in my November recap:
The Bears couldn’t score on their first possession in the third quarter, so Oklahoma State added to their lead, 20-10, putting Baylor in their first two score deficit this season. When the Bears got the ball back, however, Brewer immediately connected with Thornton on a 78-yard pass, his longest of his career, and Hasty added a 5-yard rush into the end zone, putting the Bears at 17-20. One drive later, Brewer completed an 18-yard pass to sophomore WR Josh Fleeks and Hasty rushed for 9 yards on 2 carries. At Baylor’s 36 yard line, Brewer threw a 64-yard pass to Fleeks who ran it in for a score, giving Baylor the 24-20 lead before Baylor’s defense forced an OSU three and out to close the third quarter.
Oklahoma State scored a touchdown on their first possession, but Baylor took back their lead on the following drive. Brewer completed a 44-yard pass to Fleeks and a 4-yard pass to sophomore WR R.J. Sneed before Hasty ran for 2 yards and Brewer scored on an acrobatic 2-yard rush. Coming off a 31-27 lead, the Baylor defense notched their first big play of the day on sophomore DT Chidi Ogbonnaya’s sack for a loss of 6 yards, leading to Sanders’ fumble recovered by sophomore LB Terrel Bernard, who ran the ball in for a touchdown to put the Bears up 38-27. According to Baylor football’s twitter, Bernard’s score was the team’s first fumble recovered for a TD since former CB Xavien Howard did the same at Kansas in 2015. Oklahoma State couldn’t move the ball more than 20 yards and senior S Henry Black broke up a pass on fourth down to give the offense the ball back at the Baylor 27 yard line. On the first hand off, Brewer gave the ball to Hasty who ran it back 73 yards for a touchdown, the longest run of his Baylor career, and secured the Bears’ 45-27 victory.