There were 168 snaps taken in Texas’ 35-34 win over Baylor on Saturday. Here are five that ended up making a big difference:
1. Runaway Russell
Saturday’s showdown featured four touchdowns in the first six minutes, but Baylor’s offense stalled after Ishmael Zamora’s 20-yard catch forced a 14-14 tie. Baylor went scoreless over its next six possessions, and the Longhorns distanced themselves behind a safety and a nine-yard touchdown run from D’Onta Foreman.
Trailing 23-14 with 4:18 left in the first half, Baylor put together a 13-play, 81-yard drive that was capped by junior KD Cannon’s 15-yard catch over Holton Hill. Cannon’s catch with nine seconds remaining was the highlight of the drive, but senior quarterback Seth Russell kept things moving with his feet. Russell had first-down runs on 3rd-and-15 and 3rd-and-2 attempts, and he picked up a yard on a 4th-and-1 at the Texas 39.
Russell ended up running 21 times for 138 yards. He also had a career-high 50-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
2. The 1,000-yard club
Foreman entered halftime with 128 rushing yards – 100 of which came in the first quarter – and that left him 17 yards shy of hitting the 1,000-yard threshold for his junior year. On the second play of the second half, Foreman rushed into the Texas history books with a 40-yard run to the Baylor 30.
Foreman’s 1,000-yard season is the 23rd in school history, and he became Texas’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Jamaal Charles in 2007. Foreman finished the game with 250 rushing yards, which ESPN reports was the second-most yards that a Longhorn has produced against a school ranked in the AP poll.
Most rush yards vs an AP ranked opponent in Texas history:
1998: Ricky Williams – 259
2016: D'Onta Foreman – 250
1977: Earl Campbell – 222 pic.twitter.com/hFeURSnlwp
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 30, 2016
The 250 yards was also a career high for Foreman, who extended his streak of 100-yard performances to nine games. Armanti Foreman also provided a career-best 142 receiving yards against Baylor. The Foreman twins produced three touchdowns on Saturday.
3. Significant stops
Baylor held a 31-26 lead in the fourth quarter when it faced a second-down at the Texas 2. The Longhorns, though, held the Bears to a 24-yard field goal thanks to two stops behind the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Edwin Freeman dropped Russell for a three-yard loss on second down, and JaMycal Hasty then lost a yard when he ran into Malik Jefferson and Breckyn Hager.
Texas allowed 624 yards of offense on Saturday, but the Longhorns defended their red zone in the second half. Baylor made four trips inside of the Texas 10 after halftime, but the Bears only got one touchdown on the scoreboard. Baylor settled for 27 and 24-yard field goals in the second half, and Anthony Wheeler forced a Hasty fumble that P.J. Locke III recovered at the Texas 7.
4. TE touchdown
Still needing points, the Longhorns responded to Baylor’s 24-yard field goal with their only touchdown drive of the second half.
Sparked by a 61-yard career-long catch by Lorenzo Joe, Texas marched from its 21 to the Baylor 7. Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele then found tight end Andrew Beck, who had been lined up in the backfield, for a seven-yard score. The catch was only the third for a Texas tight end this season, but Beck has scored twice during his junior year.
Down by two points with 7:03 to go, Texas kept its offense on the field for the two-point conversion. A penalty put the football at the Baylor 1, but senior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes — who was primarily used as the back-up running back on Saturday — was unable to score out of the often-used “18-Wheeler” package.
5. Redemption from 37 yards out
Texas still trailed 34-32 when its offense took the field for the final time on Saturday night. Starting at its 20 with 3:10 left in the game, Texas handed the football off to D’Onta Foreman on four of its next five plays with the exception being Armanti Foreman’s 38-yard snag. The Foreman brothers took Texas down to the Baylor 18, and Swoopes then lost four yards as he lined up the football on the right side of the field.
After Baylor burned its final timeout, Texas kicker Trent Domingue nailed a 39-yard field goal with 46 seconds remaining. The three-point conversion came one week after Domingue, a graduate transfer from LSU, missed a 35-yard kick in the fourth quarter of a 24-21 loss to Kansas State.
4th (0:46): Trent Domingue is good, and Texas takes a 35-34 lead. Can the Longhorns hang out and beat No. 8 Baylor? pic.twitter.com/OYdeFsh4Vz
— Danny Davis (@aasdanny) October 29, 2016
Domingue also hit a 25-yard field goal on Texas’ first drive of the second half. He has kicked multiple field goals in five of Texas’ games.