Baylor Bears

Texas Bowl Win Caps Off Wildly Successful Year 2 For Matt Rhule and Baylor

NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-Baylor vs Vandebilt

How fitting was the final score of 45-38? It’s the Texas Bowl and just like they way the old cowboys use to handle their business, this contest resulted in a good ole fashioned Texas shootout. While most thought that Vanderbilt would handle Baylor, the Bears flipped the script down in Houston. Another Texas Bowl, another SEC team goes back home with a loss ( three straight wins for the Big 12) and this time it was the Vanderbilt Commodores going down. While it wasn’t always pretty, Baylor found a way to win and hopefully that should put Paul Clownbaum in a bad mood when he wakes up Friday morning before whining on his radio show (buy our Clownbaum shirt here!).

It didn’t take long for Vandy to put points up because on the third play of the game, quarterback Kyler Shurmur threw a screen pass to Khari Blasingame who took it 65 yards for a touchdown. Just like that it was 7-0 Vandy. Baylor was able to put together a decent drive on their first possession that resulted in three points, but soon enough, the scoreboard would start to light up. After a Vandy punt, both teams combined for four consecutive touchdowns. Vanderbilt running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn would score twice from runs of 68 and 69 yards while Baylor running backs John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty would have one touchdown a piece. After all the scoring, Vandy went into the break leading 21-17.

Much like the hot start from Vanderbilt, the Baylor offense started the second half red hot as they were able to put the ball in the end zone twice in their first two second half drives. This was thanks to Tristan Ebner and Charlie Brewer touchdown runs.

After those two spectacular touchdowns, the Bears were suddenly in the driver’s seat leading 31-21 late in the third quarter. The Bears would get the ball back due to a Vandy fumble, but weren’t able to capitalize and were forced to punt. Then with a few seconds left in the third quarter, Vandebilt running back Khari Blasingame found the end zone to cut the Bears’ lead back down to three to end the quarter. The troubles didn’t end there for Baylor because on the very next drive, the Bears offense marched down the field with 11 plays, but the drive resulted in a crazy Charlie Brewer interception in the end zone. Wide out Denzel Mims bobbled the ball and Vanderbilt’s Randall Haynie picked it off for the touchback to give Vandy the ball right back.

Once again, the Commodores wasted no time hitting pay dirt because three plays later, they scored to take a 35-31 lead with 9:31 left to play. But, in this Texas shootout, the Bears didn’t back down. Instead, on the very first play of the drive after the Vandy score, Charlie Brewer hit running back Trestan Ebner for a 75-yard touchdown pass as Baylor took the lead back 38-35. The Commodores were able to knock in a field goal to tie the game up at 38, but Baylor still had 3:30 left to work with. They didn’t need much time because Charlie Brewer, once again, had another long touchdown pass thanks to a 52-yard connection with wide out Marques Jones to give Baylor the lead 45-38 with less than two minutes left to play. As much as the Bears defense struggled in this game, they were able to quickly stop the Vanderbilt offense to ice the game.

With Baylor winning the Texas Bowl 45-38, Matt Rhule said after the game, “It’s 1000% about these young men. In a day and age where so many people are negative, these guys were positive. They fought, they’re graduates and they do it the right way… this game was fitting of our season.”

The Bears go from 1-11 in 2017 to 7-6 this season to cap off a great season and more importantly, create some momentum for the 2019 season. Oh yeah, did I mention that the Big 12 is 2-0 in bowl season after this win?

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