By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
Baylor football trails Duke 23-0 at halftime at McLane Stadium.
Baylor received the kick off to start its second home game of the season.
Freshman wide receiver Josh Fleeks returned the kickoff for the Bears with a 41-yard return to the Baylor 47-yard line where sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer came out to lead the offense. After an eight-play drive, the Bears were unable to get any points on the board after a field goal attempt from junior kicker Connor Martin missed wide left. On the drive, Brewer completed two of his four passes for nine yards and rushed for 24 yards.
Baylor’s offense only took the field for two plays on their second drive after sophomore running back John Lovett caught a pass from Brewer and, while fighting for more yards, fumbled the ball which Duke junior safety Dylan Singleton recovering. Duke took advantage of the fumble recovery with a 3 play, 34-yard drive that ended with a 31-yard rush from sophomore running back Deon Jackson to lead the Bears 7-0 with 7:56 left to go in the first quarter.
Neither team was able to score for the remainder of the quarter as Duke held its lead at 7-0. Baylor’s offense led both teams in total yards with 93 compared to Duke’s 75. The Blue Devils lead the Bears in rushing yards with 65 yards and a touchdown on just seven attempts. Baylor managed 43 yards on 11 rushing attempts but struggled to break free for any long-distance runs.
Senior quarterback Jalan McClendon led the Bears’ offense to start the second quarter but soon left the game after an apparent injury on a seven-yard rush. Brewer came back out to take over, but the Bears again had to settle for a field goal attempt. Martin’s attempt did not find its way through the uprights yet again as Duke sophomore safety Marquis Waters blocked the kick.
The Blue Devils marched down the field on a five-play 70-yard drive where Harris found a wide-open senior wide receiver T.J. Rahming on a 28-yard pass in the front left corner of the end zone for Duke’s second touchdown of the day.
After a Baylor three-and-out, Harris led the Duke offense to another scoring opportunity. After eight plays for 31 yards, Duke senior kicker Collin Wareham capped off the drive with a 35-yard field goal, giving Duke a 17-0 lead.
The Blue Devils’ defense held strong, allowing the Bears to only get six yards on its next drive, resulting in another three-and-out. Harris wasted no time before finding senior wide receiver Johnathan Lloyd on a 66-yard pass that Lloyd took to the house for Harris’s second passing touchdown of the day. After a missed extra point from Wareham, Duke increased its lead 23-0.
Brewer and the offense continued to struggle to get anything going with its third straight three-and-out of the game due to a broken-up pass and a dropped pass on back-to-back plays.
At the end of the half Duke led Baylor 23-0 and also had the lead in both rushing and passing yards with 120 and 142, respectively. The Blue Devil defense proved to be a problem for the Bears as they only managed 56 rushing and 92 passing yards.
Duke will receive the second half kickoff.