While Baylor fans hoped the Bears would notch a consecutive victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the former’s second Big 12 matchup of the season, the latter finished with the victory. The then-ranked No. 16 Bears (3-2, 1-1) fell short in their comeback efforts and notched a second loss on the season as No. 9 OSU (4-0, 1-0) excelled 36-25 in Waco. I’m sure Oklahoma State and their fanbase saw this challenge as a way to avenge last year’s dashed Big 12 title hopes when Baylor stopped them from scoring and winning on fourth and goal (read my recap of that incredible game here!)—and their dreams came true on Saturday as they overpowered the Bears on both sides of the ball. The Bears continued their slightly slow start and tried to play catch up throughout the entire game—coming up short at the end of the fourth quarter only when sophomore QB Blake Shapen threw a devastating interception. The Cowboys were faster and stronger in most capacities and the Bears looked quite sluggish in the first half. Despite an incredibly hard-fought effort in the second half, Baylor ran out of time to complete the comeback. Thankfully the Bears looked far better in this performance than last year’s regular season matchup against OSU (here’s my recap of that game), which was a far more devastating loss in my opinion than this season’s one. Shapen completed 28 of 40 passing attempts for 345 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. The Bears somehow totaled far more offensive yards than the Cowboys with 457 compared to their 379 and the former recorded only 2 penalties for a loss of 10 yards (OSU had 3 for a loss of 25).
OSU won the coin toss and the Bears got the ball first. Shapen threw three consecutive completions to 5th year TE Ben Sims for a loss of 3 yards, sophomore WR Monaray Baldwin for 28 yards, and junior RB Craig “Sqwirl” Williams for 17. Junior RB Qualan Jones carried the ball for 14 yards and Shapen completed two passes to Baldwin for 1 yard and one pass to freshman RB Richard Reese for 2 yards. An incomplete pass to 6th year WR Gavin Holmes forced 5th year K John Mayers to kick and make a 34-yard field goal to put the Bears on the board, 3-0. Junior DL Gabe Hall hurried Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders, but the Cowboys moved 75 yards down the field and scored a TD to take the lead, 7-3. On the Bears’ next drive, C. Williams rushed for 8 yards and Sims caught a 7-yard ball. Shapen threw two consecutive incompletions, but he connected with Holmes for 19 yards on 3rd down. Baldwin lost 5 yards on the ground and Q. Jones gained 1, but Shapen’s 5-yard pass to Reese forced a Baylor punt. At the end of the first quarter, sophomore CB Lorando Johnson broke up Sanders’ pass.
The Baylor defense held strong on 2nd and 3rd down, but when the Bears’ offense got the ball back on their own 2-yard-line, Reese was taken down in the end zone for a safety and an OSU 9-3 lead. Baylor’s defense forced a quick 3-and-out on the Cowboys, who lost 8 yards on the drive. Reese rushed for 36 yards on 3 carries and Shapen threw passes of 19, 7, and 2 yards to redshirt freshman WR Josh Cameron, junior TE Drake Dabney, and sophomore WR Hal Presley. Shapen threw an incompletion on 3rd down and Reese gained 0 yards on 4th and 1 at the OSU 7 to turn the ball over on downs. Junior S Devin Neal broke up one of Sanders’ passes and the Cowboys finished the drive on a punt. Shapen was sacked for a loss of 6 yards and he threw two passes to Q. Jones (loss of 1 yard) and Sims (4-yard gain), but the Bears had to punt again. With only 27 seconds left in the second quarter, Oklahoma State scored to go up 16-3 before the half.
Oklahoma State received the kickoff at the start of the second half and a RB immediately ran the ball back for a nearly 100-yard score, giving the Cowboys a 23-3 lead. Reese rushed for 21 yards on 3 carries and Shapen threw a 3-yard pass to Sims before completing a 49-yard bomb to Baldwin for a score and Mayers’ extra point, decreasing the OSU lead to 23-10. On the Cowboys’ 3rd and 7, 5th year S Christian Morgan intercepted Sanders at the OSU 37. Reese rushed for 17 yards on 3 carries, Shapen threw a 19-yarder to Baldwin, and Reese ran the ball 1 yard into the end zone for a TD with Mayers’ made extra point, making the score 23-17. However, the Cowboys’ long kickoff return set up their drive into an easy score in two plays and a 30-17 lead. Shapen completed a 4-yard pass to Holmes, Shapen ran for 1 yard, and C. Williams gained 3 yards on the ground, but on 4th and 2 at the Bears’ own 33, Shapen’s pass was incomplete and the ball turned over on downs. Junior LB Matt Jones hurried Sanders, but the Cowboys scored a field goal and made the score 33-17. Q. Jones rushed for 3 yards, Shapen rushed for 2, and another 4th down attempt on the Bears’ own 30-yard-line turned into a 70-yard grab that Baldwin took the house and added to the Baylor score 33-25 with Mayers’ extra point.
At the start of the fourth quarter, L. Johnson broke up another Sanders pass on 3rd down to force an OSU punt. Reese gained 9 yards on 4 carries and 9 yards on 1 catch. Shapen completed a 7-yarder to Presley, but his fourth pass was intercepted and returned to the Baylor 33. C. Morgan forced a fumble that OSU recovered, but the Cowboys kicked another field goal and increased their lead to 36-25 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game. Shapen completed a 15-yard pass to Presley and a 5-yard pass to Reese before Shapen and Reese each added 3-yard runs. Shapen’s 2nd down pass was intercepted again to seal the victory for OSU. With 1 minute left, Shapen completed passes of 13, 5, 15, 7, and 17 yards to Q. Jones, Sims, Presley, Baldwin, and Sims, respectively, to end the game.
5 Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts including Reese (17 carries for 85 yards and 1 TD), Q. Jones (4 carries for 21 yards), C. Williams (2 carries for 11 yards), Shapen (6 carries for 0 yards), and Baldwin (1 carry for a loss of 5 yards). 9 received passes including Baldwin (7 catches for 174 yards and 2 TDs), Sims (6 catches for 33 yards), Presley (4 catches for 39 yards), Reese (4 catches for 21 yards), Holmes (2 catches for 23 yards), Q. Jones (2 catches for 12 yards), Cameron (1 catch for 19 yards), C. Williams (1 catch for 17 yards), and Dabney (1 catch for 7 yards). The defense kept the Bears in the game the entire 50 minutes—amassing 81 tackles with 7 for a loss of 15 yards (senior S Al Walcott, junior LB Garmon Randolph, Morgan, senior DL TJ Franklin, 5th year DL Jaxon Player, L. Johnson, junior LB Will Williams), 2 forced fumbles (Morgan, junior S Griffin Speaks), 1 interception (Morgan), 3 pass break ups (Neal, L. Johnson), and 2 QB hurries (M. Jones, Hall).
The Bears have a bye-week this weekend, but will travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia (2-3, 0-2) on Thursday, October 13th at 6 p.m. (CT).