No. 8 Baylor hangs on to get past Texas Tech
Blake Shapen passed for 254 yards and two touchdowns, while Abram Smith added 117 yards rushing and a score as No. 8 Baylor outlasted visiting Texas Tech 27-24 on Saturday afternoon in the Big 12 Conference regular-season finale for both teams at Waco, Texas.
Texas Tech’s Jonathan Garibay was wide left from 53 yards on a field-goal attempt on the final play of the game that would have forced overtime.
The Bears (10-2, 7-2 in Big 12) will earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship game if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma later Saturday. If the Sooners win, they would set up a rematch with the Cowboys on Dec. 4 in the conference title game at Arlington, Texas despite their loss to Baylor on Nov. 13.
Shapen, starting for the first time in place of the injured Gerry Bohanon, made plays late as Texas Tech responded to every time Baylor tried to put away the game. Trestan Ebner caught four passes for 118 yards and a touchdown for the Bears.
Donovan Smith passed for 262 yards and two scores for Texas Tech (6-6, 3-6). The loss was the second straight and fourth in the past five games for the Red Raiders, who will be playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2017.
The Bears stuck on the game’s opening possession, with Shapen hitting Ebner for a 61-yard TD. Texas Tech fumbled on its first play from scrimmage, and Baylor added to its lead on its next drive with Isaiah Hankins’ 28-yard field goal. The Red Raiders countered with a Garibay’s 46-yard FG with 6:06 to play in the first quarter.
Baylor expanded its lead to 17-3 on a 4-yard TD run by Smith with 5:01 to play in the second quarter after the Bears forced another fumble deep in Texas Tech territory. The Red Raiders responded via Tahj Brooks’ 1-yard scoring rush to cut the deficit to 17-10 with 1:08 remaining in the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Hankins hit a 27-yard field goal early in the fourth to culminate a 16-play, 69-yard march, Baylor’s longest drive by plays this season. Texas Tech again answered, this time on Smith’s 38-yard TD pass to McLane Mannix with 11:37 remaining to pull within 20-17.
Shapen found Ben Sims for a 9-yard TD pass for Baylor but the Red Raiders replied with a 75-yard catch-and-run from Smith to Travis Koontz just 20 seconds later to keep the margin at three points.
Garibay’s field-goal miss was his first of the season in 14 attempts.
–Field Level Media