By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer
Baylor football trails Texas 23-10 at halftime in Austin.
Baylor kicked off to Texas in its’ second game against a ranked opponent this season looking to upset the Longhorns at home. Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger came out on the field to lead Texas on its first drive of the game. After 10 plays, Ehlinger completed four of his five passing attempts for 35 yards but had to leave due to an apparent upper body injury which brought in junior quarterback Shane Buechele. After four plays, Buechele and the Texas offense were unable to get into the end zone, resulting in a 40-yard field goal from Cameron Dicker to lead the Bears 3-0.
Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer came out to lead the Baylor offense from the Baylor 30-yard line after a Texas penalty was enforced. Brewer led a perfect drive, completing all six of his passing attempts for 52 yards, ending the drive with a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Denzel Mims on the 19-yard slant for the touchdown. Junior kicker Connor Martin, after a rough week last week, got off to a strong start knocking down the extra point to give Baylor a 7-3 lead with 3:08 to go in the first quarter.
Ehlinger remained out for the second Texas drive, leaving Buchele at the helm of the Texas offense. He completed only one pass on the drive, but the running game and a pass interference call on the Baylor defense, led the Longhorns on a nine-play, 57-yard drive, capped off by a 35-yard Dicker field goal cutting into the Bears lead 7-6 with 14:56 left to go in the half.
The Texas defense was the first to keep an offense from scoring after a quick 3-and-out, with all three passes being incomplete after pressure forced Brewer from sitting the in the pocket, to scramble and throw on the run. Senior kicker Drew Galitz came out for the first punt of the game for 51 yards into the wind.
The Baylor defense responded with a stop of its own over the Longhorns with three straight incomplete passes from Buechele, two of which were blocked by the Bears forcing the Longhorns first punt of the game. On the punt, junior safety Blake Lynch, tipped the punt after leaping in an attempt to block it, but the ball still traveled 50 yards.
After back-to-back three and outs again, Brewer and the Baylor offense finally broke through for a first down when he found senior wide receiver Jalen Hurd streaking toward the side line and completed the pass for a 26-yard gain. On third down, Brewer aimed for the end zone where freshman wide receiver attempted to make a diving grab for the score but was unable to complete the catch. Martin came out for his first field goal of the day and knocked through a 46-yard field goal to increase the Baylor lead 10-6 with just over five minutes to go in the half.
The offense for Texas responded with a touchdown, its first on the day. Buechele through a deep pass to junior wide receiver Collin Johnson running down the sideline for the 44 yard touchdown, taking the lead for the lead for the first time 13-10 with 4:21 left. Baylor had yet another three and out, unable to find a way to get past the Texas defense. Buechele led a 9 play 70 yard drive, but this time, junior wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey lined up in the wildcat and rushed the ball for 3 yards and a touchdown increasing the lead 20-10.
Brewer and the offense struggled to gain any more yards on the last drive of the half for the Bears as it failed to gain a yard, and on third down, ended promptly with an interception by freshman safety Caden Sterns. The Longhorns took advantage of that interception to close out the half with a 47-yard field goal from Dicker, taking a 23-10 lead going into the locker room.
The Baylor offense finished with just 148 offensive yards, compared to the Longhorns 239 yards on the day.