Bears outmatched in loss to Cowboys

Sophomore quarterback Zach Smith looks to pass while freshman running back Trestan Ebner blocks a linebacker in Saturday's loss in Stillwater, Okla. Associated Press

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Baylor fell to No. 14 Oklahoma State 59-16 Saturday in Stillwater, Okla., in a game that was one-sided after the first quarter.

The Bears (0-6, 0-3) couldn’t stop the explosive Cowboys’ (5-1, 2-1) offense, surrendering 747 total yards in the loss and failing to muster much offense of their own.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said the Bears battled, but were no match for the talent level of the Cowboys.

“I was proud of their effort in the second half, just their desire to fight. But at the end of the day, Oklahoma State was just better than us,” Rhule said. “We have to be honest with ourselves. In a lot of games, we were able to hang close. We weren’t able to hang close today. We have to get better, and we recognize that.”

The Bears established the run on their first offensive possession. Freshman running back John Lovett got six touches and ran for 41 yards, while junior running back Terence Williams contributed 12 yards to put Baylor in the red zone just six minutes into the game.

Sophomore quarterback Zach Smith fumbled the ball on a dive into the end zone on third-and-goal, but freshman running back Trestan Ebner recovered in the end zone to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead.

Senior tight end Jordan Feuerbacher said the Bears’ rushing attack was a strong point, but as the game went on, it lacked consistency.

“One thing we felt we could do was run the ball on their defense,” Feuerbacher said. “I thought we showed what we could do on the first drive, and then we hit a couple of bumps after. We’ve got to get consistent with it.”

The Cowboys responded as senior quarterback Mason Rudolph found senior wide receiver Marcell Ateman for a 38-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter, and Oklahoma State didn’t let up after that.

The Cowboys outscored the Bears 28-3 in the second quarter to take a commanding 35-10 halftime lead.

The Baylor offense was equally inconsistent in the second half, managing only six points on two field goals by sophomore kicker Connor Martin.

Williams provided a spark in his second game back from injury, breaking free for a 39-yard run in the third quarter and finishing with 95 yards on 10 carries, but Baylor couldn’t balance its offense as Smith and the receivers failed to connect all afternoon.

Not only did Oklahoma State shut down the rushing attack, it also limited Baylor’s passing attack.

Smith finished with 127 passing yards, his lowest total as a starter, while also tossing an interception and fumbling the ball twice.

Sophomore wide receiver Denzel Mims, who had a 106.6 yards per game average and seven touchdowns coming into Saturday, finished with two catches and 20 yards.

Freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer made his second appearance of the season in the fourth quarter, throwing for 41 yards and an interception.

Smith said losing is a terrible feeling, but he still believes the Bears are improving each week.

“I mean, it’s awful losing this many games in a row, but we are going to come back and we are going to get better,” Smith said. “I think that has been noticeable that every week, we have come back and we have fought, so we have fought so we are going to keep doing that. We are going to continue to fight and have each other’s backs.”

The last time Baylor started the season with six straight losses was the 1969 season in which the Bears finished 0-10.

Baylor will look to turn the season around as it faces No. 23 West Virginia at 7 p.m. on Saturday at McLane Stadium.