EditorsNote: update 2: adds team records in fifth and sixth grafs
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for 384 yards and ran for a career-high 109 as the Bears beat Vanderbilt 45-38 in the Texas Bowl at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Thursday night.
The Bears controlled the tempo much of the evening, running 81 snaps for 668 yards (the Commodores had 62 and 573, respectively). Baylor didn’t punt until just under two minutes remained in the third quarter.
With 1:50 left in the game and the score 38-38, Brewer hit wide receiver Marques Jones on a short hitch route, and Jones broke open down the right sideline for a 52-yard touchdown for the winning points.
Vanderbilt running backs Ke’Shawn Vaughn (13 carries, 243 yards, two touchdowns) and Khari Blasingame (101 yards from scrimmage, three touchdowns) had big evenings.
Baylor (7-6) took a 24-21 lead just 2:06 into the second half as running back Trestan Ebner broke several tackles on a 34-yard touchdown run down the left sideline. After a Vanderbilt punt, Brewer hit wide receiver Denzel Mims for 15 yards on a fourth-and-13 from the Vanderbilt 30, setting up Brewer’s 1-yard scoring run. The ensuing extra point to put the Bears up by 10.
Vanderbilt (6-7) threatened when tight end Jared Pinkney caught a 32-yard pass to the Baylor 2 but lost the ball, and linebacker Blake Lynch pounced on it there. However, the Commodores finally forced a punt and scored quickly on Blasingame’s 2-yard run.
Baylor had a sure touchdown taken away when Mims couldn’t control a catch in the end zone. Vanderbilt took advantage and took the lead, 35-31, as Vaughn raced 66 yards to the 1-yard line, setting up a Blasingame scoring run on the next snap.
Ebner caught a short pass and turned it into a 75-yard touchdown for Baylor on the game’s next play, but Vanderbilt kicker Ryley Guay tied it with a 33-yard field goal with 3:30 to play.
On a third-and-10 from the Vanderbilt 35 on the game’s first drive, Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur found Blasingame on a well-designed screen. The senior caught it cleanly and raced 65 yards untouched along the left sideline for a touchdown just 56 seconds in.
Baylor answered with kicker Connor Martin’s 23-yard field goal 4:48 later, then took the lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter on running back John Lovett’s 12-yard dash through a hole on the left side.
Vaughn had two spectacular first-half touchdown runs of 68 and 69 yards, with Baylor’s JaMycal Hasty scoring on an 18-yard run in between.
Shurmur broke Jay Cutler’s school career passing yardage record in the contest, ending his career with 8,865. Shurmur completed 18 of 37 passes for 286 yards and a touchdown on the night.
The Bears played without leading receiver Jalen Hurd, who sat out due to a knee injury.
—Field Level Media