Story by Harry Rowe | Staff Writer, Video by Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor football came up short 16-9 against TCU in its last home game of the season on Saturday at McLane Stadium.
The Bears (5-6, 3-5) had an opportunity to tie the Horned Frogs (5-6, 3-5) during the final minutes of the game, but they ultimately failed to score on the potential game-winning drive.
It was a battle of the defenses as neither team passed 350 yards of total offense, with the Horned Frogs 311 yards pretty evenly matched with Baylor’s total of 303. TCU starting quarterback Michael Collins left the game with a right leg injury in the first quarter and was replaced by senior Grayson Muehlstein, who finished with 137 passing yards and a touchdown.
Baylor struggled with an early turnover in the game when sophomore running back John Lovett fumbled on a run down the middle of the field.
TCU got on the board first with a 29-yard field goal from junior kicker Jonathan Song with 12 minutes left to go in the first quarter. Baylor sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer soon responded as he did a leaping dive head first into the end-zone on a seven yard run. The extra point was blocked by TCU senior safety Ridwan Issahaku to make it a 6-3 game.
The biggest play of the game came from TCU sophomore Jalen Reagor, who took a screen at the line of scrimmage all the way to the end-zone for 65 yards. Reagor finished with 86 receiving yards on 4 catches and 32 rushing yards on 2 attempts and had the go-ahead score with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter.
Baylor had an opportunity to increase their 6-3 lead in the second quarter when they reached TCU’s 6-yard line and had a first-and-goal, but a botched handoff led to a Brewer fumble which was recovered by TCU.
Baylor had a chance to take the lead after their defense forced a three-and-out late in the game. Brewer completed a pass on fourth and seven to continue the drive and keep hope alive, but Baylor’s offense ultimately stagnated and turned the ball over with 23 seconds left in the game.
Brewer, who finished with 163 passing yards and 54 rushing yards, said the Bears could not overcome their own mistakes.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot. It’s kind of something that’s been repetitive,” Brewer said. “I’m not gonna point fingers at someone. If you want to point fingers, point them at me. I can make more plays.”
Despite the loss, head coach Matt Rhule talked about how proud he was of his seniors in light of them playing their last home game. The seniors, who were honored with a video ceremony commemorating them before the game, are leaving a much different Baylor they came to, Rhule said.
“I’m sad for the seniors because as I told them, not many people in the history of college football have been through what they’ve been through and done what they’ve done, and I’ve seen it, part of it, on the inside,” Rhule said. “They’ve stayed when they could have run. They’ve stayed. And they took a lot of flak, and they were loyal, and they were strong. They showed courage. They were just men.”
Baylor plays its last regular season game against Texas Tech next Saturday with a win or go home chance at a bowl game and their sixth win of the season.