By Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor football is going bowling.
For the first time in head coach Matt Rhule’s tenure at Baylor, he is taking a trip to the college football postseason after the Bears took down the Texas Tech Red Raiders 35-24 on Saturday in Arlington.
At the beginning of the season, Rhule told reporters that his team would make a bowl game. After the Bears’ regular season-ending win, Rhule said the team improved throughout the season to get to where they are.
“I saw the guys getting better as the year went on,” Rhule said. “I saw them block out the noise and hanging in there. I saw them all off-season. I thought it was important to take the pressure off them and speak it into existence. And this is where we’ll have to be.”
Both offenses started off hot as Baylor and Tech both scored on their first two drives — the Red Raiders connected on a touchdown and field goal while the Bears scored two touchdowns of their own. After the first two drives, the defenses started to settle in.
Baylor’s defense, which has had trouble creating turnovers this season, snagged two interceptions in the outing against the Red Raiders, which is almost half of their season total of five.
In addition to the defense, the offense was back to their normal selves against Tech. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer, who had a tough game against TCU completing only 48 percent of his passes, went 22-for-30 against Tech and found the endzone three times, two of which were to junior wide receiver Denzel Mims who had 65 yards in addition to his two touchdowns.
The running game saw new light as well as sophomore running back John Lovett went for a career-high in rushing, gaining 126 yards on the ground and found the endzone during the second quarter on a three yard punch-in.
Baylor senior offensive lineman Blake Blackmar said he was happy with how the whole team played and thought they played a complete game.
“The most important thing is what we’re going to do next to go out there and run the ball and pretty much play a complete game,” Blackmar said. “Offense, defense, both played very well and to get a win over Texas Tech, it just feels great.”
Rhule said he’s pleased with how the team responded to him this season and despite all of the hardships, the end result is extremely rewarding.
“I’ve asked them to do some hard things, and they’ve done them,” Rhule said. “We went from one win to a bowl. The freshmen will know a bowl is what you’re supposed to expect. They’ll see this as the bare minimum.”
As Baylor now prepares for their bowl game, it’s unknown who they will face. The official announcement should be within the coming weeks.