Oct. 5, 2013
Editor's Note: In each home game program this fall, legendary Texas sportswriter and Baylor treasure Dave Campbell will reminisce about his most-memorable games of the decade being honored at Floyd Casey Stadium, starting with the 2000s and culminating with the 1950s when the Bears' 64-year-old home den opened its doors as Baylor Stadium. We hope you will enjoy this trip down memory lane each week as we relive some Baylor's greatest wins at The Case.
By Dave Campbell
Baylor's unforgettable victory over Texas in 1974 towers above all others in the Seventies, and arguably does the same for the past 63 years. The final score favored the Bears lovingly, 34-24.
It was Baylor's first victory over Texas in 18 years, at home or away. It was the team's first victory against UT coach Darrell Royal. It featured a whopping Baylor comeback; the Bears trailed at halftime, 24-7. It came against a team ranked No. 12 nationally (the Bears were unranked). And it was the game that surely marked the Bears as the team destined to win Baylor's first Southwest Conference championship in 50 years.
The official record book says a Baylor Stadium crowd of 43,100 attended the game. That has to be wrong. At least 75,000 Baylor fans have assured me they were there for every play, and at least half of them declare they left at halftime and then returned to watch the mind-boggling BU comeback.
And after it was all over, Baylor executive vice president Herb Reynolds and several other Baylor officials went home, fetched bedrolls and returned to the stadium, there to spend the night while the scoreboard lights continued to flash out the miracle numbers.
As Baylor's All-SWC quarterback Neal Jeffrey said after the game: "This was the biggest and the best. We were down in the valley and now we're on the mountain top." Jeffrey ran for one touchdown in that game, threw for two more, and in the second half guided the Bears to touchdowns or field goals on five of their six possessions. Stumpy Steve Beaird and Phillip Kent did a lot of strong running, Ricky Thompson and Alcy Jackson did some nifty catching, Bubba Hicks provided the extra points and field goals, and Ron Burns, Tommy Turnipseede, Scooter Reed and Derrel Luce led the defense. Oh, yes, Johnny Greene blocked a Texas punt and Johnny Slaughter recovered the ball, setting up the Baylor touchdown that touched off pure bedlam. Baylor bedlam.
That unquestionably was Baylor's home victory of the Seventies but one other merits mention: a 38-14 victory over No. 9-ranked Texas in 1978. The Bears had lost 8 of their 10 games before kickoff time that day, and Grant Teaff had to go through the motions of swallowing a worm to fire up his team just before it went on the field. The defeat knocked UT out of Cotton Bowl contention and represented at the time Baylor's biggest scoring spree against the Longhorns in history to that point in the rivalry.