Oct. 30, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Time to take all that talk of Baylor's "Big 12 takeover" seriously. Like they say in the Lone Star State, "It ain't bragging if it's the truth."
Robert Griffin III passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in leading No. 25 Baylor to a 30-22 win over reeling Texas on Saturday night, the Bears' first victory against the Longhorns in Austin since 1991.
"The tide has changed. This year, we're the team to beat," Griffin said after his teammates could be heard chanting "Our house!" in the visiting locker room.
Stuck at the bottom of the Big 12 for so long, Baylor (7-2, 4-1) came in ranked for the first time since 1993, but still in search of a win that would make them legitimate contenders for the South division title.
A second-half rally in Austin proves the Bears are going to be a factor down the stretch.
"Our players are about as resilient a bunch as I've ever been around," Baylor coach Art Briles said.
Baylor trailed 19-10 early in the third quarter before Jay Finley ran 69 yards for a touchdown. Griffin then scored on a 1-yard touchdown and hit Kendall Wright with a 30-yard scoring pass in the fourth.
Baylor's defense kept Texas (4-4, 2-3) out of the end zone after long drives and came up with a big turnover that helped give the Bears the lead. On offense, Griffin & Co., just kept making the big plays.
Finley rushed for 116 yards on 15 carries. Griffin passed for 219 yards and also had a 59-yard TD strike to Terrance Williams in the first half.
And just like UCLA and Iowa State before them this season, the Bears sprinted to the corner of the end zone for visiting fans to celebrate what is probably the program's biggest win in Briles' three seasons.
"I don't think there was one player in our locker room that had a doubt we were going to win," said Baylor safety Byron Landor, who led the Bears with 15 tackles.
Justin Tucker tied a Texas record with five field goals. The problem for Texas was the lack of touchdowns. In each of Texas' three home losses, the Longhorns have been held without a first-half touchdown.
"We've got to quit kicking field goals," Texas coach Mack Brown said.
Texas led 9-3 before Griffin hit Williams with the long TD strike in the second quarter. The pass only covered about 10 yards in the air but Williams made Texas safety Blake Gideon miss and had no one else to beat over the final 45 yards to the end zone.
Texas drove to a go-ahead field goal just before halftime and appeared to take control early in the third.
Quarterback Garrett Gilbert had two long runs on Texas' first drive and his scrambling 20-yard touchdown put the Longhorns ahead by nine. Tucker then had his only miss of the game from 49 yards and Baylor answered on Finley's 69-yard TD run late in the quarter.
"He's a powerful guy. You give it to him enough and that will happen," Briles said.
Griffin took over the game from there.
An interception by Antonio Johnson inside the Texas 20 set up Griffin's touchdown run. Baylor converted a fourth-and-1 from the Texas 2, before Griffin punched it in on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The touchdown pass to Wright put the Bears up 30-19 with 8:38 to play.
"It all goes to Robert Griffin. He made play after play after play," Brown said.
All Baylor had to do from there was hold on. Texas drove inside the 10 again, only to stall and settle for Tucker's fifth field goal.
Texas' final chance died at midfield when Marquis Goodwin fumbled and Baylor's Rodney Chadwick recovered with two minutes to play.
Texas has lost four of its last five games in the sort of freefall that hasn't been experienced in Austin in a long time. Before the game, Texas retired the No. 12 jersey of former quarterback Colt McCoy, who won an NCAA record 45 games and led Texas to the national championship game last season.
McCoy only lost two games on his home field in his career. Gilbert, who took over when McCoy got injured in the championship game, now has three home defeats on his short resume.
"We are going to keep fighting and never give up," Texas defensive end Sam Acho said.