BEVO BEAT

Baylor nabs Big 12 title, Fiesta bid with 30-10 win

Posted December 7th, 2013

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IT’S OVER.

Baylor has beaten Texas, 30-10.

The Bears end the regular season 11-1 overall, 8-1 in the Big 12.

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The Longhorns fall to 8-4, 7-2.

It’s Baylor’s first-ever Big 12 championship.

It’s also the Bears’ first conference championship since 1994.

The 11 wins are a Baylor school record.

With the win and the title, Baylor will play in the Fiesta Bowl, the Bears’ first January bowl since 1991.

The Longhorns are likely to get the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Earlier updates …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 3:35 left.

It’s still Baylor 30, Texas 10.

Texas, needing three scores to rally, went three and out on its drive.

On first-and-10 from Texas’ 30, Case McCoy threw high to Mike Davis on the left. The ball went through Davis’ hands, though he had to leap for it.

On second-and-10, McCoy, under pressure, threw incomplete to Malcolm Brown on a short pass over the middle.

On third-and-10, McCoy missed Marcus Johnson on a slant pattern.

Texas punted on fourth down.

Baylor, closing in on its first-ever Big 12 championship, will take over at its own 24.

Earlier updates …FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 4:04 left.

It’s Baylor 30, Texas 10.

Glaco Martin has all but put this game for the Big 12 championship out of hand, putting Baylor up by three touchdowns on an 8-yard scoring run.

That play came after a wild play that should’ve resulted in a pick-six interception, but safety Ahmad Dixon — who sat out the first half while serving a suspension for last week’s targeting ejection — was called for a personal foul.

That gave Baylor possession of the ball, at Texas’ 8.

The Longhorns whiffed on their previous drive, needing two scores in the final five minutes to rally.

On second-and-10 from Baylor’s 42-yard line, McCoy’s ill-fated screen pass to Malcolm Brown was picked off by K.J. Morton, who returned it nearly 55 yards for a touchdown. That score was called back, however, by Dixon’s penalty.

McCoy was hoping to avoid a repeat of his 2011 performance, the last time Texas and Baylor played in Waco. On that day, he threw four interceptions and lost a fumble.

Today, McCoy is 12 of 31 for 54 yards. That’s an average of 1.7 yards. He’s thrown one touchdown and two interceptions.

Earlier updates …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 5:13 left.

It’s still Baylor 23, Texas 10.

The Longhorns have forced a Baylor punt, and will start their drive at their own 46.

But Texas missed a golden opportunity on its previous punt; the ball touched a Bears defender and began bouncing back toward the endzone. But Jalen Overstreet and Adrian Colbert both missed chances at pouncing on it.

Texas could’ve gotten the ball inside Baylor’s 5-yard line, down by two touchdowns with six minutes left.

Instead, the ball bounced out of bounds and Baylor retained possession.

It’s the latest of several missed turnover opportunities for Texas, which has seen Dalton Santos and Adrian Phillips fail to get fumble recoveries and also Quandre Diggs have an interception go through his hands.

Earlier updates …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 9:18 left.

It’s Baylor 23, Texas 10.

The Bears answered the Longhorns’ touchdown in quick fashion, getting a 28-yard field goal by Aaron Jones.

Baylor had a big third-down conversion to get there. On third-and-11 from Texas’ 35, Bryce Petty hit Glasco Martin, who had gotten past Dalton Santos on the right sideline, for 25 yards.

Earlier updates …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 12:38 left.

It’s Baylor 20, Texas 10.

The Longhorns have just scored their first touchdown on a dramatic turn of events.

On fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Case McCoy found Malcolm Brown in the end zone for a short touchdown pass.

But the play — and even the series of plays that led up to it — were hardly routine.

First, the play itself. McCoy faked the handoff to Brown — who had gotten the ball on three straight carries — then evaded a sack by a Bears lineman as the lineman was falling down. He did have a hand briefly on McCoy’s foot, however.

McCoy then ran to his left, and as a Bear was closing in on him, he pivoted, turned and flung the ball from the 15 into the endzone, where an open Brown caught it.

It was a Johnny Manziel moment, evading the sacks, making something happen in the backfield.

But before that, there was intrigue.

Anthony Fera kicked a 33-yard field goal — then Texas elected to take the points off the board. A Baylor personal foul call on the kick gave the Longhorns new life at the 8-yard line.

After the second-chance personal foul, Texas got a 2-yard run by Brown on first down. Brown then found 2 more yards on second down off the right side.

On third-and-goal from the 4, Brown bulled his way to the 2.

Texas opened the fourth quarter at Baylor’s 11-yard line, thanks to Jaxon Shipley’s big punt return to end the third quarter. But the Longhorns’ drive went nowhere.

On first down, it was a no-gain by Brown.

On second down, McCoy threw incomplete to Brown on the left side, coming out of the backfield.

On third down, McCoy’s fade to Kendall Sanders, who was in one-on-one coverage, was incomplete. That set up Fera’s field goal attempt.

Earlier updates …

END OF THE THIRD QUARTER.

It’s Baylor 20, Texas 3.

We’re entering the final quarter, and the Longhorns will start it in excellent field position.

On the final play of the third quarter, Baylor punted. Jaxon Shipley fielded it near Texas’ 30-yard line and returned it 43 yards.

There were two penalties on the play, both against Baylor: A hold and a facemask. Texas took the 15-yard facemask.

So Texas begins its drive down 17 points, but at Baylor’s 11-yard line.

Earlier, the Bears added a 37-yard field goal by Aaron Jones, who is 2 for 2 on the day.

Texas went three and out on its drive, and punted again after Case McCoy’s long shot downfield to Kendall Sanders went off the receiver’s hands.

Earlier updates …

THIRD QUARTER.

There’s 6:54 left.

It’s Baylor 17, Texas 3.

The Longhorns are in trouble: Trailing by two touchdowns in the second half, but knowing that it’s the running game, not the passing game, that’s their best offensive bet.

Bryce Petty has thrown his second touchdown of the day, a 6-yarder to Levi Norwood on third down. It’s Baylor’s second straight touchdown to open the second half.

Petty is 18 of 31 for 233 yards and two touchdowns so far.

His top target, Antwan Goodley, went over the 100-yard mark on the drive. He has 8 catches for 114 yards so far.

Earlier updates …

THIRD QUARTER.

There’s 11:14 left.

It’s Baylor 10, Texas 3.

The Bears have score the first touchdown of the day, an 11-yard pass from Bryce Petty to Antwan Goodley on third-and-9. It came one play after Petty missed a wide open Jordan Naivar in the endzone.

Goodley’s catch was a slant route. He beat Duke Thomas.

Earlier updates …

IT’S HALFTIME.

It’s Texas 3, Baylor 3.

Baylor will get the ball to start the second half. The Bears won the coin toss and chose to kick to open the game.

Star safety Ahmad Dixon returns for Baylor in the second half. He had to sit out the first half because of a targeting penalty and ejection in last week’s win at TCU.

Some first-half stats:

First downs: Baylor has 13, Texas has 9.

Third downs: Both teams are struggling. Big-time. Texas is 1 of 9 on third down conversions, Baylor is 1 of 8.

Fourth downs: Ditto. Texas is 0 for 1. Baylor is 0 for 1.

Total yards: Baylor 232, Texas 158.

Passing yards: Baylor has 170. Texas has 38.

Rushing yards: Texas has 120. Baylor has 62.

Turnovers: Texas has 1, Baylor none. It was a Case McCoy interception. Baylor nearly lost a fumble, but Dalton Santos couldn’t control it. And the Bears nearly lost another fumble earlier, but Adrian Phillips couldn’t pounce on it. And Quandre Diggs missed an interception that went through his hands.

Petty vs. McCoy: Baylor’s Bryce Petty is 13 of 23 for 170 yards, no TDs, no picks. McCoy is 7 of 19 for 38 yards, no TDs and the one pick.

Top rushers: Malcolm Brown has 17 carries for 118 yards. He’s the first Longhorn since Jamaal Charles in 2007 to have four 100-yard games in a season. Jalen Overstreet has one carry for 5 yards, though it was a big run because it turned a 47-yard field goal attempt into a 42-yarder, which Anthony Fera made to tie the game. Joe Bergeron, who has three carries for -3 yards, hasn’t returned since his sprained ankle.

For Baylor, Lache Seastrunk (7-21) and Glasco Martin (7-25) have been relatively kept in check.

Receiving: For Baylor, Antwan Goodley has 5 catches for 66 yards, Corey Coleman has 3 for 49, Clay Fuller has 2 for 26, Levi Norwood has 2 for 21 and Jordan Naivar has 1 of 8 (and a big fumble recovery, on the one that Phillips couldn’t get).

For Texas, Brown has 2 catches for 13 yards, Jaxon Shipley has 2 for 10, Daje Johnson has 2 for 10 and Mike Davis has 1 for 5.

Earlier updates …

IT’S HALFTIME.

Texas and Baylor are tied, 3-3.

It’s been a strange game. Baylor’s offense — the best in the country when it comes to scoring points — is stalling, a mixture of the freezing weather and a spirited effort from Texas’ defense, particularly its secondary.

Both the Longhorns and Bears have missed opportunities.

Baylor’s Aaron Jones has missed two field goals. Bryce Petty’s pass to Levi Norwood in the endzone was a catch, but Norwood couldn’t get a foot in bounds. That third-down incompletion led to one of Jones’ misses.

Texas also has missed a field goal, a rare miss by Anthony Fera, the Lou Groza Award finalist who was 18 of 19 heading into the day. Case McCoy threw a pick inside the 15-yard line. Dalton Santos missed a shot at a defensive touchdown when he couldn’t control the football on a recovered fumble. McCoy’s best pass of the day, to Marcus Johnson in the endzone, was broken up by a nice play from the Baylor corner.

Texas is sticking to its gameplan: Run the ball, look for opportunities in the passing game, play good defense.

Malcolm Brown is having a good game. He’s standing out for the Longhorns with hard runs, and he doesn’t seem to be worried about either running in the cold or giving/receiving tough hits.

He has already rushed for 100 yards.

Brown’s per-game results this season:

New Mexico State: 3 carries for 3 yards.

BYU: 3-15.

Ole Miss: 5-negative 3.

Kansas State: 9-40, 1 touchdown.

Iowa State: 3-8.

Oklahoma: 23-120.

TCU: 17-51, 2 touchdowns.

Kansas: 20-119, 4 touchdowns.

West Virginia: 28-89, 1 touchdown.

Oklahoma State: 25-73, 1 touchdown.

Texas Tech: 25-73, 1 touchdown.

Earlier updates …

SECOND QUARTER.

There’s 4:31 left.

It’s Texas 3, Baylor 3.

Anthony Fera has just kicked a 42-yard field goal to tie the game.

He missed from 44 earlier in the game.

Malcolm Brown was a force on the drive, with good runs up the middle. But it was Jalen Overstreet’s 5-yard run on third-and-7 that turned a 47-yard try into a 42-yarder.

Since our last update, Case McCoy has thrown an interception, Joe Bergeron has suffered an injury and Dalton Santos missed a golden chance for a defensive touchdown.

McCoy threw the interception late in the first quarter. It came on third-and-long, and he threw it quickly — and off his back foot — on a Baylor blitz.

The ball held up in the stiff wind, and the Bears picked it off.

The last time Texas played at Baylor, in the 2011 regular-season finale, McCoy was picked off four times. He also lost a fumble that day.

Bergeron suffered a sprained left ankle on a short run. But he was re-taped and was seen trying to warm up and make cuts on the sideline.

If he can’t return, Jalen Overstreet’s role becomes critical for Texas. He’d inherit Bergeron’s tailback spot behind Malcolm Brown, though Daje Johnson also is available for spot carries.

There also has been another missed field goal — the third one today, when Baylor’s Aaron Jones kicked wide left on a 35-yard attempt.

Baylor also took its first shot into the endzone, on a pass from Bryce Petty to Levi Norwood. Norwood, sandwiched between Duke Thomas and Mykkele Thompson, came down with it but couldn’t get a foot inbounds.

That incompletion on third down led to Jones’ missed field goal try.

Santos recovered a Baylor fumble. With nothing but green field in front of him, however, he lost control of the ball and it went back to Baylor.

Earlier updates …

FIRST QUARTER.

There’s 3:25 left.

It’s still Baylor 3, Texas 0.

Since our last update:

Baylor tried a trick play and it backfired, going for a fake punt attempt on fourth-and-7 from the Bears’ 43-yard line.

The snap went to the upback, who then tried a short pass over the middle. It fell incomplete, as Leroy Scott had good coverage.

On Texas’ ensuing drive, the Longhorns’ drive stalled at Baylor’s 37-yard line. Case McCoy threw incomplete to Kendall Sanders on a fourth-and-4 play.

And on Baylor’s next drive, Aaron Jones kicked wide left on a 44-yard field goal attempt. He had the wind at his back.

Quandre Diggs — still looking for his first pick of the season after leading Texas in picks his first two years — dropped a sure one on that drive.

Texas has the ball back and is starting its drive at its own 33.

Earlier updates …

FIRST QUARTER.

There’s 8:16 left.

It’s still Baylor 3, Texas 0.

Anthony Fera has just missed a 44-yard field goal attempt.

It’s only the second miss of the year for the Lou Groza Award finalist. He’s knocked kicks in from 50 and 49, but his two misses are from 45 and 44.

Malcolm Brown and Daje Johnson both had nice runs on the drive. Texas, down by the early field goal, seemed intent to go back to its game plan and focus on the run.

Duke Thomas set the drive up with an excellent kickoff return past the 40.

Earlier updates …

FIRST QUARTER.

There’s 11:01 left.

It’s Baylor 3, Texas 0.

Baylor has scored first, a 22-yard field goal by Aaron Jones.

The Bears didn’t look afraid to throw in the freezing weather, moving methodically down the field. They were helped by a key pass interference call on Carrington Byndom, which gave the Bears new life at Texas’ 20.

The Longhorns went three-and-out on their opening drive.

Baylor won the coin toss, and deferred. So the Bears will get the ball — and the wind — to start the second half.

Earlier updates …

TWO MINUTES TO KICKOFF.

Oklahoma has upset Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 33-24.

The Sooners pulled off a touchdown drive in the final two minutes, scoring the winning touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Blake Bell to Jalen Saunders with 19 seconds to go.

Oklahoma added a final-play defensive touchdown when the Cowboys’ desperation trick-play lateral play went awry.

The upset has huge implications for Texas-Baylor.

The winner of this game wins the Big 12 championship outright and heads to the Fiesta Bowl.

‘Nuff said.

Earlier updates …

TEN MINUTES TO KICKOFF.

And it’s freezing in Waco.

Texas and Baylor kick off at 2:35. All eyes should be on what’s going on 350 miles up north I-35. Right now, Oklahoma State leads Oklahoma, 24-20. There’s 1:46 left to play.

If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, then the Texas-Baylor winner captures the Big 12 title outright and lands a spot in the Fiesta Bowl.

If Oklahoma falls to Oklahoma State, then Oklahoma State clinches the Fiesta Bowl spot. The Texas-Baylor winner would share the Big 12 title with the Cowboys.

It’s not raining right now, but it’s below freezing with a wind.

What effect will the weather have on the game? Depends on whether there’s rain. Football players can handle cold. It’s rain, snow or mush that gets tricky. There are two schools of thought on bad weather, so it depends on which side of the fence you’re on.

If the weather gets ugly, you can say it favors Texas. Baylor relies on its passing game, the ball would be slick to handle and throw as well as catch. The Longhorns want to run the ball, which is easier to do in bad weather than it is throwing it.

But you can also say it would favor Baylor. The Bears, after all, know where their routes are going. Defensive backs don’t, which means Texas’ DBs would have to make more cuts on the slick turf.

It’s why bad-weather NFL teams like the Patriots and Steelers can still be effective offensively.

Some things to ponder today:

Will we get good Case or bad Case?: The last time Texas played at Baylor, Case McCoy got the start as well. Paired opposite Robert Griffin III, McCoy’s final passing line looked good — 356 yards and three touchdowns. But he made a lot of mistakes, and it cost Texas in the 48-24 loss. McCoy threw four picks and also lost a fumble.

Weather watch: It’ll be below freezing all day. If it starts raining, then all bets are off. Call it a weather wild card.

Jackson Jeffcoat: He’s playing his final regular-season game, and coming off a three-sack performance Thanksgiving night. He trails only Kansas State’s Ryan Mueller for the Big 12 sack lead, who’s got 11.5. Jeffcoat has 10.

The return of Daje?: Literally. Daje Johnson comes back from his one-game suspension that kept him out of the Tech game. He can have a big impact today. Last year, he burned Baylor with an 84-yard touchdown run on the very first play of the game. And he returned a punt against Oklahoma 85 yards for a touchdown this year.

But since that OU game, Johnson has been quiet. In his last four games played, he’s rushed for 46 yards, had 16 catches for 73 yards, and has had some issues on returns.

He remains one of Texas’ biggest playmakers. It’s just been two months since he’s made one.

Will Diggs get a pick?: We ask because Quandre Diggs — who has led Texas in interceptions the last two seasons — doesn’t have one yet. It’s almost like Jaxon Shipley’s touchdown drought earlier this year. Diggs does lead the team in pass breakups, though. But you figure he’ll get plenty of looks today.

Is this Mack’s last game?: There are a lot of things we don’t know in regards to Mack Brown’s coaching status. UT’s president has told us that he doesn’t know what Brown’s intentions are. He also says Texas has not had any conversations with Nick Saban.

Can Mack resign or retire? Yes.

Could he do it today, in his post-game press conference? Yes. Remember Dennis Franchione, back at Texas A&M a couple of years ago.

Could he do it today, in his post-game press conference, regardless of what happens in this game? Yes. Remember Franchione again — the Aggies beat Texas that day.

Could he do it on Sunday? Yes.

Could he not do it at all, and return for 2014? Yes.

We think it’s Mack’s decision to make or not to make. So stay tuned.

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