Baylor Bears Best in the State?

Baylor Bears huddle in celebration. | Image from Creative Commons

Winning Streak

Baylor football ran its win streak to three by way of Saturday’s McLane Field come-from-behind 31-24 thriller over in-State rival Texas.

In overcoming an 11 point third-quarter deficit, the Bears nudged their overall 2021 record to 7-1, and the Big 12 mark of 4-1 is good for a second-place Conference tie with Oklahoma State.

It was those same Cowboys who inflicted the only defeat on the Bears this season, an October 2 road venture up to Stillwater’s Boone Pickens Stadium.

Associated Press pollsters now place the Bears at Number 14 in the Nation, a single rung below that of Texas A&M and separated from the Aggies by a mere 14 points.

Any on-field settlement between the two must await a possible tournament or playoff meeting as the Schools are not on one another’s 2021 schedule.    

Pinning the Longhorns

Second-year Bears Head Coach Dave Aranda is not bashful in resorting to the recesses of the playbook when deemed timely. Midway through the opening quarter, Junior QB Gerry Bohanon’s passing game had not looked especially sharp.

Trailing 7-0 but in possession inside the Texas ten-yard line, Baylor called for a flanker option and was rewarded when Senior Wideout Tyquan Thornton capped the 75-yard march with a six-yard spiral TD toss to a fellow receiver R. J. Sneed, whose game-high eight receptions for 94 yards stood tall.

Although late in the third quarter, he would run it into the end zone from six yards out, narrowing the deficit to 21-17. 

Bohanon would finish only 18 of 31 throwing on the day, a commendable 222 yards but no TDs, and a pair of interceptions. Baylor’s offense was well served on land.

Senior running backs Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner — respectively out of Abilene and Henderson — combined for 179 yards rushing on 32 carries, and whose 5.6 average yards per touch will prove competitive in most games.

Baylor did not fumble the ball, while its Defensive unit managed to corral one from a Texas carrier. A further Bear plus: it was whistled for only a single 10-yard infraction, whereas the visiting Longhorns were flagged on four occasions.

All told, it enabled the Bears to seal the victory with two fourth-quarter TDs, Texas adding a field goal in the clock’s waning minutes.    

Up Ahead

Care should be exercised in not looking beyond this weekend’s afternoon visit to Texas Christian, which has shown its mettle this season.

Yet all might well understand if Aranda and squad have their sights trained on November 13 — when no less than the unbeaten Oklahoma Sooners come calling on Waco, kickoff time yet undecided.  

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