Bears blow early lead, save game

No. 24 T.C. Robinson celebrates his touchdown on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Baylor bears triumphed over the TCU horned frogs 50-48. Meagan Downing | Lariat Photographer

By Tyler Alley
Sports Editor

Baylor never made it easy on their fans, but in the end they got it done, knocking off the 14th-ranked team in the nation on national television Friday night.

With 1:04 left in the game, the score 48-47 in TCU’s favor, sophomore kicker Aaron Jones was looking at a 37-yard field goal to put his team up by one point.

“I looked at [Jones] right before the placement,” sophomore linebacker and holder Brody Trahan said. “He just nodded his head and said. ‘This is what I do,” and I said ‘You’re damn right.’”

And he nailed it.

Then it was TCU’s chance to make history in their favor. Sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall drove his team to the Baylor 40- yard line.

On first down, he threw an incomplete pass. Second down, his pass was nearly intercepted by sophomore nickelback Ahmad Dixon. The next play, Pachall fires a pass over the middle. Junior safety Mike Hicks intercepts the pass, and like the old cliché, the crowd went wild.

“Those are classic games, against a really good football team,” head coach Art Briles said. “I never saw any doubt on the sideline, even when it got there in the fourth quarter.”

Junior Robert Griffin III took a knee, and cemented Baylor’s 50-48 win. He was then bum-rushed by about 40,000 fans.

The Bears started this game off with a bang. On their first drive, Griffin threw back to senior receiver Kendall Wright, who proceeded to fire a pass down field to junior receiver Terrance Williams for 40-yard touchdown.

“It’s just plays we have when the defense is doing what we they’re doing,” Wright said. “They triggered. When they all came to me, it’s just [Terrence] wide open.”

TCU answered with a 73-yard kickoff return that led to a nine-yard TD run by Pachall. Baylor would block the extra point to make it 7-6.

Later in first quarter, Pachall made a 38-yard pass to sophomore receiver Josh Boyce that led to a four-yard TD run by junior Matthew Tucker to make it 13-7.

Baylor would answer with a 35-yard touchdown reception by Wright.

Wright eclipsed 100 receiving yards in the first half and set a Baylor record with 11 100-yard receiving games.

“I don’t take individual awards personally like that,” Wright said. “I just want to do what I can to help my teammates get better every week.”

TCU would hit a field goal before the end of the quarter to make it 16-14.

In the second quarter Baylor caught fire, scoring three touchdowns. Wright caught a 28-yard pass for a touchdown, and Griffin later found sophomore tight end Jordan Najvar for a 14-yard touchdown.

Terrance Ganaway added a two-yard rushing touchdown to make it 34-23 in the Bears’ favor. Ganaway made his debut as he starting tailback this season with 120 yards rushing and the touchdown.

At the end of the third quarter, Baylor looked to have this game in hand. Junior receiver Lanear Sampson caught a 64-yard pass from Griffin for the touchdown. The extra point would be blocked.

Griffin would also hit T. Williams on a 42-yard pass to extend the lead to 47-23. Griffin hit four different receivers, including his tight end, for touchdown passes.

In the fourth quarter, TCU reminded Baylor why they were ranked 14th in the nation. Pachall threw three touchdowns to three different receivers to bring the score to 47-45, and cut the Bears’ lead to two.

On Baylor’s next drive, Griffin took for a 10-yard run before the ball was knocked loose and TCU recovered.

With 4:27 left in the game, TCU’s kicker, senior Ross Evans, netted a 27-yarder to give the Horned Frogs the lead for the first time in the second half.

“After my fumble, [my teammates] all came to me,” Griffin said. “Every single defensive player said ‘go win the game,’ because this is how legends are made.”

On the next drive, Baylor had a 3rd-and-10. Once again, Kendall ended up with the ball in his hand, looking to pass. This time, he hit Griffin for a 15-yard pass and a first down. Griffin took a shot on the play, stayed down for a bit, but got back up and kept the drive going.

“[I thought] I am about to get hit real hard,” Griffin said. “It hurts, but I needed to make it happen to make up for what I did on the previous drive. I couldn’t talk for two plays. Ganaway had to call the plays.”

Griffin would throw two more passes and even rush for seven yards on the drive. Ganaway also contributed with 10 rushing yards.

Then Jones hit that field goal, and Baylor took their lead.

“It was great,” Jones said. “It’s something, as a kid, that you dream of. That’s your goal in life, to be the piece on the team that makes it all happen.”

On the night, Griffin had 359 passing yards and five touchdowns, along with 43 rushing yards.

Wright would total 189 yards and two touchdowns. Terrence Williams finished with 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Baylor outgained TCU 564 yard to 466.