A tough road environment, an even tougher team, and a long list of penalties doomed Baylor in their first loss of the 2022 season, falling 26-20 to BYU in Overtime. Baylor beat BYU by 14 in Waco last season, and the Cougars were looking to avenge that loss in front of a raucous home crowd.
BYU came into this game without two of their key playmakers in Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua, but instead found production out of Freshman Chase Roberts, who gashed the Baylor defense with 8 receptions for 122 yards and touchdown. BYU QB Jaren Hall had a solid game as well, going 23-39 for 261 yards and TD, plus 28 yards rushing. The Cougars outgained Baylor 366 yards to 289.
The Baylor offense didn’t fair well against a stout BYU defense. The Bears only had 137 yards passing, as Blake Shapen had a rough day finding open recievers. Monaray Baldwin left the game early due to injury, and no one stepped up to fill his void, as Ben Sims led the team with only 4 receptions for 30 yards. The Baylor gameplan was clearly to focus on the run, as the team ran the ball 52 times. Unfortunately, the Bears only averaged 2.9 yards per carry and ended up with only 152 yards on the ground.
The biggest factor in Baylor’s defeat though, may have been penalties. The Bears committed penalty after penalty in crucial situations that allowed BYU drives to stay alive, or stalled out the Bears offensive momentum, finishing with 14 penalties for 117 yards. Baylor never got into a rhythm offensively. There will be questions about play calling and discipline, but it’s clear Baylor had a plan, and just never got out of their own way to efficiently execute that plan.
In a day of top 10 teams going down, Baylor closes the day as the last team to lose. Overall, our goals are still ahead of us. This loss doesn’t affect our ability to repeat as conference champions, and should give the players and coaches plenty to look at with how they can improve this team. A home game against Texas State is the perfect medicine to set this team right before they head to Ames to face Iowa State. After this game in Provo, I think they will be ready for any road environment in the country.