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Third and Longhorns: Inside Texas 38, Baylor 7

Posted October 28th, 2017

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A deeper look inside Texas’ 38-7 win over Baylor:

Why Texas (4-4, 3-2 Big 12) won

Another solid week for the defense, which for a change didn’t go up against the nation’s No. 1-ranked offense. Baylor is a far cry from Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, so take Saturday’s statistical output with a grain of salt — the Longhorns had 431 yards of total offense, held a 19-11 advantage in first downs converted three of their four red zone trips into points. And the Bears committed three turnovers which led to 10 Texas points.

Why Baylor (0-8, 0-5) lost

There are reasons why the Bears are winless. The run defense is as bad as advertised. Matt Rhule’s decision to rotate Zach Smith and Charlie Brewer in and out of the lineup only resulted in a neutered offense that never found a rhythm. And Texas’ defense is as good as advertised, so that was a factor, too. The three turnovers were real killers and they came in different ways — a pick-six, a fumble, another fumble and don’t forget the botched punt snap. Next Saturday’s road game at Kansas can’t get here soon enough.

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The Eyes of Texas

The Longhorns kept their eyes on three specific Bears — running back John Lovett, the team’s leading rusher who was averaging 5.1 yards a carry and had scored four touchdowns; wide receiver Tony Nicholson, Baylor’s second-leading receiver who was averaging five catches a game in Big 12 play; and cornerback Harrison Hand, who had Baylor’s only interception this season through the first seven games.

How did they do?

Lovett scored Baylor’s lone touchdown, but finished with only 2 yards on 5 carries.

Nicholson had a fairly quiet day: 3 catches for 38 yards.

Hand also had a quiet day. He had five tackles.

Game balls

OFFENSE

All eyes were on Shane Buechele. He delivered: 27 of 34 for 256 yards, 2 total touchdowns and one interception. He didn’t need to make big plays, and didn’t, but he did make a couple of important ones.

And let’s acknowledge freshmen running backs Toneil Carter (15-70-1) and Daniel Young (7-60-1), who averaged 4.7 and 8.6 yards per carry and got into the end zone in the second half.

DEFENSE

Holton Hill was the defensive player of the game. He had six tackles, a pass breakup and forced a fumble.

DeShon Elliott had a big day, with his pick-six.

Plays of the game

Offensive play of the game: In his first start since the conference opener at Iowa State, Buechele showed no ill effects of that ankle injury with a 28-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Horns up 21-7.

Defensive play of the game: DeShon Elliott snagged his sixth interception of the season and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game. Elliott now has a team-leading two pick-sixes.

This and that

HORNS UP

Cornerback John Bonney recovered a pair of fumbles and halted a Baylor drive with a sack of Charlie Brewer in the first quarter.

Freshman running backs Toneil Carter and Daniel Young combined to rush for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Young averaged 8.6 yards per carry while Carter averaged 4.7 for a running back position that has struggled to rush the ball for most of the season.

Charles Omenihu and Malik Jefferson starred for a run defense that limited the Bears to 0.8 yards per carry.

HORNS DOWN

Cornerback Kris Boyd, who has been up and down all season, was flagged for a pair of personal fouls in the first half.

Kicker Joshua Rowland had a 27-yard field-goal attempt blocked in the second quarter. Rowland made 1 of 2 kicks Saturday and is now 7-of-13 for the season.

The Horns went 0-for-2 on fourth-down conversions, missing on a Buechele rush attempt and an incomplete. Texas is now 6 of 17 on fourth downs.

Texcetera

Elliott’s six interceptions ranks seventh in school history for single-season picks. … Buechele moved into 10th place in school history with 3,771 career yards, and his 12th career 200-yard game tied him with Vince Young for sixth-most in school history. … Young’s 31-yard touchdown run was the first of his UT career, as was Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s 15-yard touchdown catch. … Malik Jefferson is now one tackle short of 200 for his career; he finished with eight tackles, 2.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. … John Bonney has produced three turnovers in the last three games.

On deck: TCU

Nov. 4, Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth (6:15 p.m., ESPN)

The post Third and Longhorns: Inside Texas 38, Baylor 7 appeared first on Hook ‘Em.

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