By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
The Baylor offense struggles as the Bears trail Texas 21-7 at halftime.
The Bears offense has only mustered 131 total yards against the Longhorns defense, and costly turnovers have made the score lopsided in Texas’ favor.
On a third-and-eight during Baylor’s first possession, sophomore quarterback Zach Smith‘s pass slipped through the receiver’s fingers and was intercepted by Texas junior safety DeShon Elliott. Elliott returned the pick for a 43-yard touchdown as the Longhorns went up 7-0 less than a minute into the game.
Freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer replaced Smith on the ensuing drive, picking up a quick first down on a 22-yard pass to sophomore receiver Tony Nicholson, but Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson came up with a sack near midfield to halt the drive.
The Baylor defense converted three straight tackles for loss, including a sack by junior safety Verkedric Vaughns to force a Longhorns punt on the next drive.
Baylor junior running back Terence Williams fumbled the ball on a first down run in the Bears red zone as Texas junior safety John Bonney recovered the ball to put the Longhorns in scoring position.
The Bears’ defense came up big, forcing a 27-yard field goal attempt that was blocked by junior defensive end Greg Roberts.
Following a three-and-out by the Bears, the Longhorns marched down to the Baylor 20-yard line to start the second quarter, but were stopped on a fourth down rush attempt.
As the Baylor offense continued to struggle, the Texas offense found their rhythm on an 11-play 90-yard drive that ended in a 15-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele to sophomore receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey to put the Longhorns up 14-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Brewer found sophomore receiver Blake Lynch for a 52-yard gain and freshman running back John Lovett punched it in from from two yards out to make it a 14-7 game with eight minutes left in the first half.
Texas found itself in no-man’s land again on the following drive, going for it on fourth-and-two at the Baylor 38-yard line, but the Bears defensed forced a turnover on downs.
On Baylor’s next possession, sophomore kicker Connor Martin could not contain a snap on fourth down, falling on the ball to give Texas starting field position at the Baylor 28-yard line.
The following play, Buechele ran it up the middle for a 28-yard rushing touchdown to put the Longhorns up 21-7.
Texas will receive the second half kickoff.