After finishing out games versus Alabama and Wyoming, No. 3 Texas started what could be its final contest with the Baylor Bears with authority.
“They came ready to play,” Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We had been talking about how much we had finished the last couple of weeks and we wanted to start really well. I think obviously, defense we really set the tone.”
The Longhorns defeated the Bears for the 81st and potentially final time considering the two schools do not have any future plans to play one another. Texas did it thanks to a strong defensive effort that made offense for Baylor a near-impossible chore all evening.
“I think obviously, defense, we really set the tone,” Sarkisian said. “I think we had three sacks right there early on in the first couple of drives to create some really good field position. I thought our red zone defense was really incredible tonight. I think they were inside the red area five times and came away with two field goals.”
An efficient offensive effort followed, with Texas scoring five touchdowns and adding a field goal. Here were the key plays that made the ballgame.
Quarter score: Texas 7, Baylor 3
Top moment: Jonathon Brooks’ 40-yard touchdown run
“Just thanking my O-linemen,” Brooks said. “I’m not necessarily carrying the load, because there are other people touching the ball. The distribution of the ball makes me feel happy. We’re winning in versatile ways.”
Featured performer: Byron Murphy.
Murphy recorded two tackles in the first quarter, one a sack and the other a tackle for loss. He paced a defensive line effort that made offense impossible for the Bears all night.
“I felt like they were kind of stung,” Murphy said. “They didn’t know what really hit them until it actually happened.”
Stats: Baylor had 50 total yards in the quarter, and tallied 11 carries for -2 rushing yards… The Longhorns were assessed a 15-yard pass interference penalty that helped Baylor’s field goal drive gain significant yardage… The Bears averaged 2.9 yards per play in the first quarter… Quinn Ewers was 6-of-6 in the first quarter, he did not attempt a deep shot down the field.
Items: Texas recorded two sacks on Baylor’s opening drive of the game, one by Jett Bush and the other by Murphy… Xavier Worthy entered the game needing 38 yards to join elite Texas company with more than 2000 career receiving yards… That hit a road bump as his first catch of the game went for a loss of six yards… Worthy would eventually get into positive yardage… A UT interior defensive lineman recorded four of Texas’ first nine tackles, with Murphy and Vernon Broughton both tallying sacks along with Bush… Brooks scored the 10th touchdown of his career with his 40-yard run… Texas tallied five TFL for 22 yards lost.
Quarter score: Texas 21, Baylor 3
Game score: Texas 28, Baylor 6
Top moment: Quinn Ewers’ 29-yard touchdown run
“It’s all a blur honestly,” Ewers said.
This touchdown run completed a drive where Ewers himself was 3-for-4 for 42 yards and added 22 rushing yards following a sack on the drive’s first snap. It was part of a nine-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:28 off of the clock.
Featured player: CJ Baxter
Baxter recorded his first career touchdown with a seven-yard rush that made it 21-3.
Stats: Baylor posted 71 total yards in the second quarter, Texas posted 162 to enter halftime with a 256-121 total yardage advantage… Baylor had 11 rushing yards and was 3-for-12 on money downs in the first 30 minutes… Baylor out-possessed Texas 17:39 to 12:21 in the first half…. The Longhorns averaged eight yards per play to Baylor’s three. Jaylan Ford ended the half as the Longhorns’ leading tackler with six… A group of four other Horns had three… Ewers ended the half 12-of-16 for 126 yards… Ja’Tavion Sanders finished the first 30 minutes as the leading receiver with four catches for 61 yards… Ryan Sanborn had three punts for 129 yards with a long of 49 and one inside the 20.
Items: Baylor’s opening drive of the quarter lasted four plays, gained 15 yards, and lasted 90 seconds… Worthy returned Palmer Williams’ 52-yard punt after the Bears’ second drive 40 yards to the Baylor 42… T’Vondre Sweat recorded the drive-stuffing tackle with the Horns up 21-3 on Baylor’s third drive of the quarter… Derek Williams made a drive ending PBU to record a third three-and-out of the half… Worthy muffed the ensuing punt for the Longhorns’ second turnover of the season… Baylor only managed a field goal….
Quarter score: Texas 10, Baylor 0
Game score: Texas 38, Baylor 6
Top moment: Jaylan Ford’s interception.
Ford’s eighth takeaway in the past 11 games and his second interception of the season kept the Bears out of the end zone on a fourth down attempt.
Baylor drove 71 yards down the field to the Texas four. First down was unsuccessful, as was second and third. Needing something to help the Baylor effort, Dave Aranda decided to go for the touchdown. Bear quarterback Sawyer Robertson stared down his receiver and Ford made the play to turn Baylor over.
“For the defense just having that mentality that no one gets in gets in the end zone against us, that’s something that we got to keep building on, keep striving for,” Ford said. “It was really good. They tried to get in the end zone a couple of times, and we just shut them out.”
Featured player: Xavier Worthy
“A lot of people were on that 5-7 team, so it’s a good feeling to be 4-0,” Worthy said.
Stats: Texas won this quarter 10-0… Texas had 150 yards to Baylor’s 105… The Longhorns recorded 133 yards through the air… Texas recorded five first downs and converted 1-of-2 third down opportunities during the course of its 12 third-quarter plays… The Longhorns had 406 total yards following the completion of this quarter… Despite losing the time of possession battle, Texas had a commanding lead that allowed for backups to enter the game.
Items: Sanders eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second time in his career thanks to his 49-yard one-handed reception on a RPO from Ewers. Bert Auburn nailed a 37-yard field goal, his first attempt of the game, to help the Longhorns score 10 points in the Middle 10 minutes of the contest… Johntay Cook’s third career reception was a 51-yard catch that converted a 3rd-and-14 with the Longhorns backed up near their own end zone… Worthy’s 21-yard scoring reception in the third quarter was the 24th of his career… Texas muffed a second punt, this time by Jordan Whittington.
Quarter score: Texas 0, Baylor 0
Game score: Texas 38, Baylor 6
Top moment: Fourth down stop at end of game to keep the Bears completely out of the end zone
Backup quarterback RJ Martinez took the Bear offense inside the Texas five with under 10 seconds left, and the Longhorns held firm for the entire 60 minutes to make sure no Baylor player reached the end zone.
Featured Player: Malik Muhammad
Muhammad had three tackles and a pass breakup in the final quarter, and helped escort the Baylor defense off the field for one of Texas’ fourth quarter red zone stops. The true freshman finished with four total tackles, third on the team behind Ford’s eight and Anthony Hill’s six.
Stats: Ewers finished 18-for-23 for 293 yards and a touchdown, plus his rushing touchdown… Brooks had 18 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns…
Items: Backups filtered in late in the quarter… Maalik Murphy entered at quarterback with 5:40 left in the contest… Texas ended the game 4-0 for the first time since 2012.