The Texas Longhorns became the first defense to stop the Baylor Bears on the first drive and junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes promptly took advantage with a 57-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Caleb Bluiett to help propel the Horns to a 20-0 halftime lead in Waco.
It was the first time that Baylor entered halftime without scoring since 2011 against Oklahoma State.
Swoopes later added a touchdown run as well, but had injured his left leg early in the first quarter and hobbled thereafter, eventually returning when redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard was ineffective in his return from the concussion he suffered against Texas Tech on Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, an injury to third-string quarterback Chris Johnson on a fumble sunk the Bears offense, as head coach Art Biles had to insert wide receiver Lynx Hawthorne at quarterback. Despite playing the position in high school, Hawthorne was a mess, throwing two quick interceptions and completing only 4-of-13 passes for 22 yards.
Showing a remarkable lack of discipline that is consistent with Briles' teams, Baylor committed several critical penalties on offense to take the team out of short down-and-distance situations.
But at no point was the frontrunning nature of Baylor more obvious than when Hawthorne threw down Texas senior cornerback Duke Thomas late after an interception. When junior safety Kevin Vaccaro fell over Hawthorne trying to go celebrate with Thomas, it sparked a scrap that resulted in Bears players swarming onto the field from the bench in a pathetic display of attempted toughness.
Here's the best part of it though:
Unbelievably, only Vaccaro picked up a penalty, as did freshman PJ Locke later on Hawthorne's second interception when he held Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman, sparking a retaliation that resulted in a semi-punch thrown by Coleman and Locke losing his helmet.
Big 12 refs, imo.
Unfortunately for the Big 12's most arrogant, nouveau riche program, all the false bravado did nothing for a moribund Baylor offense, and this Texas team, if it can hold on, looks like it has another miracle win in it. More tough, more disciplined, and able to survive injuries across the entire roster, Texas looks like the much better team despite not having anything to play for but pride.