(Friday, September 2nd)
Final Score: Baylor 50, (14) TCU 48
Waco, TX (Sports Network) - Baylor blew a 24-point lead in the fourth quarter but somehow pulled out an electrifying win in regulation, as Aaron Jones' late field goal upended No. 14 TCU, 50-48, snapping the Horned Frogs' 25-game regular season winning streak in epic fashion.
The back-and-forth thriller featured eight lead changes, none more unlikely than Ross Evans splitting the uprights from 27 yards out to give the Horned Frogs a 48-47 edge after they trailed by 24 entering the final 15 minutes.
Robert Griffin III had one last drive in him, however, as the quarterback led the Bears (1-0) into field goal range with an 11-play, 60-yard march in the final 4 1/2 minutes.
"That's a big-time [drive]. That's not easy to do when you have zero momentum," Baylor head coach Art Briles said. "Our guys really just kept fighting, kept believing and persevered."
Jones, who earlier had missed two extra points, connected on a 37-yarder with 1:04 to play. Mike Hicks's interception in the final seconds sealed the memorable win, Baylor's first over a ranked opponent since 2004.
"It was kind of tense, really. [But] I felt relaxed, I felt good and confident in my team, the field goal unit and confident in myself," Jones said.
Griffin torched a usually stout TCU defense for 359 yards and five touchdowns, hitting Kendall Wright 12 times for 189 yards and two scores.
Wright even threw a touchdown to Terrance Williams, whose 42-yard hookup with Griffin gave the Bears a seemingly comfortable 47-23 lead with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Casey Pachall, tasked with replacing the winningest quarterback in TCU history in Andy Dalton, nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback by throwing three of his four TDs in the fourth quarter while converting a pair of two-point tries.
"I was very happy with what [Pachall] did. I was very happy with the offense as a whole. They put up 38 points against a Big 12 defense," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said.
His 19-yard connection with David Porter pulled TCU within 47-45 with 7:11 on the clock. The two-point conversion failed, but Griffin fumbled on the first play of the next possession, leading to Evans' go-ahead field goal with 4:27 showing.
After two incompletions to start the ensuing drive, Griffin and Wright switched roles, as the quarterback hauled in a 15-yard pass over the middle to move the chains on a double pass.
Three first downs moved the ball to the TCU 26-yard line, and after Terrance Ganaway gained six yards on three rushes, Jones came in and kicked the game- winner.
Pachall completed four straight passes to move into Baylor territory with time winding down, but his forced attempted into double coverage was brought in by Hicks, who fell to the ground with two seconds to play, effectively ending the roller coaster affair.
The Horned Frogs led the nation in defense the previous three seasons. They allowed 12 points per game and 228 yards of total offense en route to a 13-0 campaign last year, including a Rose Bowl win over Big Ten champ Wisconsin.
The Bears, though, exceeded those numbers by the end of the first quarter just one year after getting dismantled, 45-10, by its intra-state rival.
Baylor, which ended a 16-year bowl drought by making it to the Texas Bowl last season, opened the scoring with a trick play, as Wright caught a screen pass behind Griffin and lobbed a 40-yard TD to an uncovered Williams just 2:17 into the game.
Greg McCoy's ensuing kickoff return of 73 yards set up Pachall's nine-yard run to paydirt. Though the extra point was blocked, TCU went ahead on Matthew Tucker's four-yard touchdown run with 5:46 remaining in the opening stanza.
Baylor answered right back with Griffin finding Wright in the right corner of the end zone for a 35-yard score off a play-action fake.
Evans booted a 44-yard field goal to cap a flurry of first-quarter scoring that continued in the second with Wright and Logan Brock trading respective 28 and 23-yard touchdown catches in the first three minutes.
Darius Jones' 55-yard kickoff return gave Baylor good field position, and on the third play of the drive, Griffin hit Jordan Najvar for a 14-yard score. Jones' ensuing point after was blocked.
After Evans missed a 41-yard field goal, Ganaway ended an eight-play, 76-yard drive with a two-yard run up the middle off a direct snap, giving the hosts a 34-23 lead at halftime.
Evans was wide right on another 41-yard attempt on the first possession of the third quarter. The errant kick came after a chop blocking penalty negated a gain that had moved TCU inside Baylor's five-yard line.
While McCoy set up several scores with 229 kick return yards, the speedster was beaten down the left sideline by Lanear Sampson en route to a 64-yard score on a perfectly-thrown ball by Griffin with 8:49 left in the third.
Jones missed the extra point, but it took little away from Baylor's momentum. Following a three-and-out, Griffin quickly struck again, hitting Williams for a 42-yard TD over the middle for a 47-23 advantage.
"We played so badly on defense, especially at the corner position, that we just couldn't overcome it. You've got to give Baylor all the credit, and you've got to understand that they did a great job," Patterson said.
The Horned Frogs went down swinging, as Pachall connected with Brock in the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the one in the opening minute of the fourth.
Pachall ran in the two-point try, then found Josh Boyce for a nine-yard TD a little more than three minutes later, cutting the deficit to 47-39 following another successful two-point completion.
TCU is in its final season in the Mountain West Conference before moving to the Big East for the 2012 campaign...It was TCU's first regular season loss since Nov. 6, 2008, a 13-10 decision at No. 10 Utah...The Horned Frogs had also won 11 straight on the road...Pachall passed for 251 yards on 25-of-39 efficiency and found Boyce nine times for 96 yards...Waymon James led the TCU ground game with 64 yards on just six carries...Baylor's last win over a ranked opponent was at home on Oct. 30, 2004, a 35-34 double OT triumph over No. 16 Texas A&M...Griffin completed 21-of-27 throws and added 38 yards on the ground...Ganaway had a game-high 120 rushing yards on 24 touches...Williams logged 126 receiving yards on six grabs..The all-time series is tied, 50-50-7.
09/03 02:15:22 ET