Turnovers cost Bears in home loss to Longhorns

Story by Ben Everett | Sports Writer, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor football fell to Texas 38-7 Saturday at McLane Stadium to remain winless on the season.

The Bears’ (0-8, 0-5) three turnovers were not a season-high, but they came at costly times in the first half against a stout Longhorns’ (4-4, 3-2) defense.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said the offense shot itself in the foot with penalties and turnovers

“We just weren’t able to get anything going enough on offense,” Rhule said, “and penalties and turnovers really kind of stopped that at an early point.

The Baylor offense only put together one successful drive and accumulated a season low 249 yards as the Texas defense had its way for most of the afternoon.

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.

Later in the first half, 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, but Baylor junior defensive end Greg Roberts blocked the Longhorns’ field goal 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.

Following another fourth down stop by the Baylor defense, the Bears’ offense failed to gain much ground, leading to a crucial special teams error. 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 going into the half.

In the third quarter, Texas junior defensive end Charles Omenihu forced Lovett into a fumble, setting up the Longhorns at the Baylor 16-yard line.

The Bears forced a 18-yard field goal attempt by Texas junior kicker Joshua Rowland, who converted on the attempt to put the Longhorns up 24-7.

A six-play, 50-yard drive by Texas was turned around in the end zone when sophomore cornerback Grayland Arnold picked off Buechele’s pass and returned it to the Baylor 20-yard line.

The Bears’ offense failed to convert on the opportunity, going all four downs and turning the ball back over to the Longhorns at the end of the third quarter.

Texas came back with a 19-yard rushing touchdown from freshman running back Toneil Carter to take a 31-7 lead and put the game out of reach at the start of the fourth quarter.

In the closing minutes, Texas freshman running back Daniel Young took off for a 31-yard rushing touchdown to put an exclamation point on the win.

The Bears sent out four different running backs during the game, but the quartet only managed 45 yards on the ground in total.

Brewer credited the Texas defense but said the Baylor offense has a lot to work on.

“They’re a good defense,” Brewer said. “I just didn’t think we executed very well on offense. We just need to regroup and get ready for next week.”

The Baylor defense came up with eight tackles for loss and two sacks, led by junior nose tackle Ira Lewis who had two tackles for loss and one sack.

The Bears look to pick up their first win of the season as they face Kansas at 11 a.m. Nov. 4 in Lawrence, Kan.