Charlie Brewer threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Baylor to a 35-24 win over Texas Tech on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to become bowl eligible in the final regular-season game of the season.
Baylor (6-6, 4-5 in Big 12 play), which was 1-11 in 2017 in coach Matt Ruhle’s first season in Waco, returns to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2016.
The Red Raiders (5-7, 3-6 in Big 12 play) started the season 5-2 but dropped its final five games, a swoon that will keep Texas Tech out of a bowl game for the second time in the past three years and might cost coach Kliff Kingsbury his job.
McLane Carter started at quarterback for Texas Tech for the first time since Week 1 because freshman Alan Bowman (partially collapsed lung) and sophomore Jett Duffey (knee) are injured. Carter passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns but uncorked a pair of interceptions in the fourth quarter as the Red Raiders were desperate for a comeback.
John Lovett ran for a career-high 125 yards of 28 carries for Baylor while Chris Platt caught six passes for 114 yards for the Bears.
The two teams started the game with a bang, scoring on the first five possessions. Texas Tech received the first-half kickoff and drove 75 yards in eight plays to a 54-yard touchdown pass from Carter to Ja’Deion High and a 7-0 lead just 2:56 into the first quarter.
Baylor answered with a grind-it-out 19-play, 75-yard march that culminated in a 6-yard TD pass from Brewer to Denzel Mims. The game-tying drive took 9:10 off the first quarter clock.
Clayton Hatfield nailed a 42-yard field goal on the Red Raiders ensuing possession to grant Texas Tech a 10-7 lead with 27 seconds to play in the first quarter.
The Bears needed just five plays to march 75 yards for a touchdown on its next drive, finding the end zone via a 41-yard pass from Brewer to Tyquan Thornton at the 14:10 mark of the second quarter to go up 14-10.
The Red Raiders answered quickly, using a pass interference penalty and a 32-yard Carter-to-Seth Collins pass play to move into position for a 7-yard touchdown run by Demarcus Felton and a 17-14 lead that lasted through halftime.
Baylor took the second-half kickoff and drove 75 yards in seven plays to Brewer’s 1-yard QB sneak and a 21-17 advantage just 1:49 into the third quarter. The Bears added a 3-yard touchdown run by John Lovett with 9:57 to play in the third to move their lead to 28-17.
Tech cut the lead to four points early in the fourth quarter on 7-yard TD pass from Carter to Collins, but Baylor moved right down the field on its next possession, capping another 75-yard drive with Brewer’s 16-yard touchdown connection to Mims that moved the score to 35-24.
—Field Level Media