TCU trip up Baylor’s playoff hopes, Big 12 title ‘three-peat’

Baylor running back Johnny Jefferson (5) is upended by TCU safety Travin Howard (32) as Davion Pierson (57) watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Photo credit: Associated Press

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Last season, Baylor fans rushed the field after an improbable comeback against TCU, won the game 61-58 on a last second field goal and claimed the bragging rights in the rivalry between the two schools. But that was last year.

It took two overtime periods to settle the score between the No. 7 Bears and the No. 19 Horned Frogs. After Trevone Boykin scrambled to find KaVontae Turpin in the back of the endzone, Devin Chafin was stopped on fourth and one on the Bears subsequent possession and Amon G. Carter’s field was covered in purple.

The final score was 28-21 in the Horned Frogs favor in a game that felt foreign to a Big 12 audience. The Horned Frogs and Bears combined for 23 punts on the night. By contrast, both quarterbacks only completed 25 passes combined the entire game.

“I think the elements had a whole lot to do with [the low amount of points]. I thought Chris [Johnson] played hard, he played valiantly but it’s just hard to execute in those conditions,” said head coach Art Briles.

Chris Johnson in his first start did not have the same effect his predecessor’s did this season. While he performed tremendously well in the second half last week, Johnson was not effective in the downpour.

Johnson threw the ball 24 times, completing 7 for just 62 yards and a touchdown. Johnson also fumbled the ball twice and was picked off once, accounting for three of Baylor’s five turnovers on the night.

“The rain was coming down hard, it made the ball hard to grip. It makes you one dimensional but no excuses,” said Johnson.

The Bears offense was certainly one dimensional, as they ran the ball 71 times for 273 yards. After Shock Linwood exited the game in the first quarter with a nagging ankle injury, Devin Chafin would tote the majority of the carries.

Chafin finished the game with 26 carries for 119 yards and a pair of scores. Chafin also would fumble the ball as well, though TCU would ultimately punt.

Although the Bears played great on the defensive side of the ball, the five turnovers would come back to bite the Bears.

“At the end of the day, turnovers were the telling tale of the game. You can’t have that many turnovers and expect to win a football game,” said Briles.

Defensively, the Bears contained a hobbled Trevone Boykin all night. Theduel-threat quarterback finished the night with 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air and 16 yards and additional score on the ground.

The Bears only allowed 302 yards through the entire game, only giving up 14 points in regulation.

“We played good enough to win. In overtime, we had a tough call but that wasn’t the reason we lost. We did a good job of limiting the explosive plays, [both] big passes and big runs. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed them,” said nickelback Travon Blanchard.

In the first overtime, the Bears had stopped the Frogs and forced third and 12. However, safety Chance Waz was called on a pass interference, giving TCU new life with the Frogs scoring two plays later.

“It was pretty tough looking at that. We just played hard,” said a dejected Andrew Billings.

With the Bears’ initial goal of capturing a Big 12 title now erased, the Bears must find new motivation to finish the season. With the last game of the season against the Texas Longhorns at McLane Stadium, expect the Bears to come back strong to finish out 2015.