The undefeated Baylor Bears took on the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth on Saturday morning in what would become an instant classic. The Bears were riding high on 8 straight wins to start the season, but Matt Rhule knew that coming into their rival’s stadium meant anything could happen. Expecting the unexpected, Rhule took on, and overcame, the Bears’ toughest challenge yet.
If you missed the game, don’t worry. Here we will look, from a bird’s eye view, at just how the Bears pulled out the shocking comeback victory over TCU.
The Bears’ first half was, to say the least, not pretty.
Led by QB Charlie Brewer, Baylor’s offense found little success moving the ball down the field. The ground game, one of the facets of their offense that the Bears pride themselves in most, was virtually nonexistent. Moreover, a lazy interception by Brewer squandered any trust Coach Rhule had in the passing game. All of this, compounded with a missed field goal from only 32 yards out, resulted in quite possibly the worst half of offense this season for the Bears.
Luckily, the defensive side of the ball was locked in. Bending but never breaking, Baylor ceded just three field goals in the first half of play. Sophomore Linebacker Terrel Bernard, who finished the game with 19 total tackles, played a huge part in the Bears’ stifling efforts.
The Bears came out of the break with noticeably more energy, but still little success in actually getting the ball into the endzone. Entering the fourth quarter, the Bears were still down 9-3.
The final quarter of play saw a defensive masterclass by the Bears, who stuffed seemingly every play the Horned Frogs threw at them. In what was perhaps the most anxiety inducing play of the entire game, Baylor kicker John Mayers drilled a 51-yard field goal to tie the game with less than a minute to go in regulation. This game was going to overtime.
Overtime saw an offensive rejuvenation for both teams. Charlie Brewer put the Bears on the board first with a gritty TD run, however TCU QB Max Duggan responded with an incredible 4th down TD pass that matched the Bears. The game was tied again and headed to a second OT period.
The second overtime saw roles somewhat reversed, as the Bears now found themselves in a seven-point hole on fourth down. Charlie Brewer seemed unphased by the pressure however, delivering an absolute strike to Denzel Mims across the middle for a touchdown. Mayers hit the extra point, and the game was going into yet another overtime.
Brewer once again led the Bears into the endzone to start overtime, flinging a beautiful pass to a fading Denzel Mims in the endzone. Take a look at what would become the play of the game:
On defense, the Bears sealed the victory with an endzone interception by Grayland Arnold.
The Bears’ victory puts them at 9-0 and in first place for the Big 12 conference. Next week, the Bears will host the one loss Oklahoma Sooners in Waco. The game between these two giants figures to be the biggest and most important of the week, as the winner of the faceoff will essentially cement their spot in the conference championship game. The matchup will also have massive ramifications for the College Football Playoff, making it perhaps the most important game in the last half decade for the Bears.