Turnovers costly for Bears in loss to Red Raiders

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

Baylor football lost to Texas Tech 38-24 Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The Bears (1-9, 1-6) fell behind early and could not muster a comeback against the Red Raiders (5-5, 2-5).

Baylor freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer was responsible for three of Baylor’s four turnovers, throwing a red zone interception and fumbling twice in his second career start.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said there is no way to sugar coat it when talking about Brewer’s struggles

“I think you had to start with the three turnovers,” Rhule said. “At the end of the day, those are on him. On the second one, there was some miscommunication — but, you know, he’s the quarterback and he handles the ball every play.”

The Red Raiders took advantage of Baylor’s mistakes, scoring 10 points off turnovers and a special teams touchdown despite recording almost 200 less yards of offense.

Texas Tech junior receiver Keke Coutee returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for the touchdown to give the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game.

Brewer kept the opening drive alive for the Bears with an eight-yard scramble on third down in their own territory. Brewer led the Bears down the field and found freshman receiver Gavin Holmes for a four-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 at the 10:28 mark of the first quarter.

The Red Raiders offense, taking the field for the first time, put together a seven play, 53-yard scoring drive in just over two minutes to take a 14-7 lead on a one-yard rush by junior running back Tre King.

With five minutes left in the first quarter, Holmes was carted off the field with a potential knee injury after he was tackled on a four-yard reception.

A 35-yard reception by sophomore receiver Denzel Mims put the Bears at the Texas Tech 18-yard line, but a lost fumble by Brewer gave the Red Raiders possession at their own 11-yard line.

Texas Tech capitalized on the turnover, driving the ball 89 yards down the field as senior quarterback Nic Shimonek connected with freshman receiver T.J. Vasher from five yards out to take a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

On a fourth-and-goal Baylor opted to go for the touchdown, but sophomore running back JaMychal Hasty was stuffed short of the goal line as Texas Tech once again stopped the Bears in the red zone.

A pass from Brewer to junior receiver Blake Lynch would have set the Bears up at the three-yard line, but it was called back after a chop block penalty and Brewer tossed an interception into the end zone on the next play to end the half.

With the Red Raiders half a yard from the goal line, Baylor sophomore linebacker Jordan Williams forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore defensive tackle Tyrone Hunt as the Bears retook possession early in the third quarter.

On the ensuing drive, Brewer and freshman running back John Lovett muffed a handoff, resulting in a fumble that the Texas Tech defense recovered at the Baylor 35-yard line.

A pass breakup by senior linebacker Taylor Young forced Texas Tech to kick a 39-yard field goal, which junior kicker Clayton Hatfield knocked through to extend the lead to 24-7.

The Baylor offense responded on the following drive as Brewer connected with Lynch on a 40-yard pass and then found sophomore receiver Pooh Stricklin in the end zone on a four-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 24-14 with a minute left in the third quarter.

The Red Raiders wasted no time on their next drive as Shimonek connected with senior receiver Cameron Batson on a 30-yard touchdown pass to make it a 31-14 game at the end of the third quarter.

Baylor put together a 10-play, 64-yard drive in the fourth quarter ending in a 37-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Connor Martin to cut the lead to 31-17 with eight minutes left.

Texas Tech sophomore nickelback Douglas Coleman stripped sophomore receiver Tony Nicholson and returned the fumble 31 yards to extend the lead to 38-17 with five minutes remaining in the game.

With the clock winding down, Brewer flipped it to Mims on a three-yard touchdown pass to make it a 38-24 game.

Mims finished with a 152 yards, eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards on the season.

Despite the milestone, Mims said all he wants to do is win.

“It’s a blessing to get over a thousand yards,” Mims said. “But it really doesn’t matter because all I care about is a win. I want to see my teammates happy, I hate seeing them down. When we’re not winning, seeing them down is not good for me, and it’s not good to see.”

Baylor looks to bounce back in its final home game of the season against Iowa State on Nov. 18 at McLane Stadium.