By Krista Pirtle
Before Baylor enters the tunnel to run out onto the field at Floyd Casey Stadium, the team hits a sign above the doorway that says “Finish Strong.”
“We aren’t going to put our heads down and throw in the towel,” senior quarterback Nick Florence said. “We still have seven more games left. There is still a lot of football to be played. When it comes to bowls, you are defined by how you finish. We’re going to keep fighting until the end.”
Baylor’s first home game in a month ended up breaking the Bears’ nine-game win streak at Floyd Casey Stadium with a 42-21 loss to TCU last Friday night.
“I just feel like tonight we came out too excited because we had had a bye week last week,” senior wide receiver Terrance Williams said. “I just feel like we came out trying to make too many plays instead of playing our game.”
Florence had an uncharacteristic night, completing 12-of-19 passes for 289 yards, a pair of touchdowns and four interceptions.
“I’ve got to make better throws and better decisions,” Florence said. “We put our defense in a bind and that’s what happens. As an offense we did not play well and we can’t have that if we want to win a Big 12 Championship.”
Baylor head coach was most frustrated in the lack of production he saw from his team.
“It is very frustrating. It is very humiliating, not just to us, as coaches, but to our players also and to our university. We did not do a good job of showing up for Baylor tonight.”
TCU freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns, all of which came on third-down plays.
The Horned Frog offense had the ball for 41:52, while Baylor held a mere 18:08.
“We did not feel like we had any rhythm offensively in the first half,” Briles said. “We never really got in any type of flow and turnovers have something to do with that because it takes away your tempo and it sometimes takes away your aggression.”
The Bears got off to a quick start 26 seconds into the game with a 74-yard touchdown pass to Williams.
“It was something we’ve been practicing all week,” Williams said. “Knowing the safety would be guarding me, they threw the ball to a spot where I could run under it.”
But after that first touchdown came two interceptions.
Baylor’s second touchdown came on its first possession of the second half off a five-yard run by Florence.
“They hadn’t played against a lot of four-man rushes,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “Only Sam Houston State had rushed them with four guys, so we had to change up our coverages. The one long pass to Terrance Williams in the second half was my fault. I went to a blitz instead of keeping with the game plan of staying over the top of him, and it hurt us.”
That touchdown was a 77-yard touchdown pass off a quick decision by Williams, the longest Baylor play this season.
“That is part of our high routes. If they blitz I have the choice to do what I want, but I have to make the decision quick. I saw that the defender was flat-footed so I decided to run by him and Nick put the ball up.”
Williams would only record three catches on the night.
The next two offensive possessions ended in interceptions as well.
TCU would go on to score three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to solidify a win.
“We missed a lot of tackles,” junior safety Sam Holl said. “We’ve got to tackle better. We had them wrapped up a couple of times. They got off and made some yards.”
Sophomore linebacker Bryce Hager and junior nickelback Ahmad Dixon both recorded their first career sack in the ball game.
Dixon and senior safety Chance Casey both recorded a career-high 13 tackles.
“I’m not worried about the way we’re going to respond because I know we’ll be all right,” Holl said. “We’re trained to respond well and clear games. We can’t fix what just happened tonight. We can’t go back and replay it, so we just don’t think about it. We will go into practice this week, work hard and just get better.”