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'Horns Hook Bears 23-17 (Game Recap)

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The Texas Longhorns (5-7) were 21-point underdogs against the Baylor Bears (9-3) today in the season finale for both teams. For Baylor, a win against a struggling, beat-up Texas team almost guaranteed the Bears a berth in the Sugar Bowl. For Texas, the Longhorns were playing to avoid suffering an eight-loss season, which has happened only twice in the history of the program.

Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes made his second appearance as the starter this season and solid play from Swoopes helped pave the way for the win against the Bears. On the team’s first possession, Swoopes got things going by hitting tight end Caleb Bluiett for a 57-yard touchdown to give the Longhorns an early 7-0 lead. Nick Rose would add to the lead with a 23-yard field goal on Texas’ second possession after forcing Baylor to another three-and-out.

On Baylor’s fourth possession, quarterback Chris Johnson fumbled after being hit by Texas safety PJ Locke. Linebacker Anthony Wheeler would recover the fumble, setting the Longhorns up for a Tyrone Swoopes run for a touchdown. Johnson would leave the game and not return only to be replaced by wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne who served as Baylor's de facto 4th string quarterback.

Late in the first quarter Duke Thompson intercepted Hawthorne and was tackled by Hawthorne near the Texas bench. Perceived unnecessary roughness by Hawthorne on the tackle brought PJ Locke and Kevin Vaccaro onto the field. After that mayhem ensued. The Baylor bench cleared, as did the Texas bench, until coaches and referees managed to pull players back to their respective sidelines.

The only points of the second quarter came on Texas kicker Nick Rose’s 53-yard field goal.

The Longhorns would take a 20-0 lead over Baylor into the locker room at halftime.

Baylor’s Johnny Jefferson struck first in the second half, scampering into the Texas end zone with 10:27 left in the 3rdquarter. After missing a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter Baylor kicker Chris Callahan would connect from 24 yards out, trimming the Texas lead to 20-10 with :33 seconds left in the quarter.

With a struggling Texas offense that hadn’t put points on the board in the second half, and a defense that was gouged all day by the Baylor rushing offense, Baylor had momentum in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Lynx Lynx Hawthorn capitalized on lax defense, finding the pylon in Texas’ end zone on an eight-yard run. Baylor scored 17 unanswered points to trail Texas 20-17 with 9:40 left in the game.

A Nick Rose field goal at the 3:59 mark was meant to serve as insurance, giving the Longhorns a23-7 lead, but Baylor would push Texas to the brink. Needing a touchdown to win, the Bears marched 45 yards to the Texas 46-yard line before the Longhorns stopped Hawthorne and company as time expired.

Texas running back Chris Warren finished the game with 106 yards on 28 carries. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes was 12/19 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown. Swoopes also rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Baylor had four turnovers in the loss and had not been shut out in the first half of a game since the 2011 season.

Game Notes

  • RB Chris Warren becomes the 12th freshman running back in school history to notch two 100-yard rushing performances in a season
  • QB Tyrone Swoopes finished the 2015 season with 12 touchdowns, which was best on the team
  • PJ Locke's start today made him the 9th true freshman to start a game for the Longhorns this season
  • Nick Rose's 53-yard field goal in the second quarter was his career best
  • The Longhorns improved to 11-3 under Charlie Strong when scoring first
  • Texas' last win over a ranked opponent on the road was Nov. 3, 2012 at Texas Tech, 31-22.

Game Stats


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