Baylor had three chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get anything going on offense. The Bears lost to the Longhorns 23-17. Baylor is now 4-3 and will next play at 6:00 on October 25th in Morgantown.
After stopping Texas on 3rd and 5 at midfield, down 23-17, Baylor took over at their own three with 1:43 remaining and zero timeouts. Charlie Brewer hit Pooh Stricklin for two big catches, and Baylor had the ball at the Texas 48 with 53 seconds remaining. After a Trestan Ebner first down run, Brewer hit Chris Platt just short of the first down. Baylor had two final shots at the Texas 17. Brewer threw incomplete, and Baylor had one second left. He faced pressure and fired it off just out of the end zone. Close but not quite for the Bears.
The Bears jumped out to a 7-3 lead and looked like the better team for much of the first half. Brewer led a methodical opening drive, as he went 6-of-6 before connecting with Denzel Mims for the opening score. With Shane Buchele taking over for Sam Ehlinger on the first series—Ehlinger missed the remainder of the game with a shoulder injury—Baylor seemed to have a chance.
Texas had a 23-10 halftime lead. Baylor suffered from some rough calls. Derek Thomas thought Texas pushed off, but they scored a touchdown on the play. Jameson Houston appeared to have intercepted a ball in the end zone, but somehow, it was confirmed as incomplete on review.
Baylor made their own bad luck in the first half. Ty Thornton had a chance to catch a touchdown, but he let the ball fall through his arms. Baylor had to settle for a field goal. Jalen Hurd had the chance to get a first down on a slant, but he dropped the ball. That play would have likely ensured Baylor had the final drive of the half. Instead, Texas added another score.
The Bears’ defense held up well for most of the second half. Texas had plenty of chances to put the game away, but Baylor got stops when necessary. Michael Dicker, Texas’ hero kicker last week against Oklahoma, missed 34 yard and 51 yard field goals. Those plays gave Baylor three shots to come back.
Unfortunately Baylor couldn’t get much going on offense, with the exception of one second half score. Texas brought a ton of pressure on Brewer, and the receivers had some untimely drops.
This was a winnable game for Baylor. They’re a little less talented than Texas, and they suffered two catastrophic calls. Without those calls, they might have beat a Texas team led by Buchele.
Baylor doesn’t need moral victories. But in a Big 12 that looks as bad as it has any year this decade, this team easily could win six games. That’s real progress and has been the goal all season. It certainly seems achievable now.