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Believe it: Bears beat UT

Nov. 2, 2010

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Daniel Cernero | Photo Editor
No. 27 cornerback Tyler Stephenson and his teammates celebrate after the Bears beat the Longhorns 30-22 Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.

By Chris Derrett
Sports Editor

AUSTIN -- You haven't heard it in more than a decade, so say it once, say it twice, say it as many times as it takes to resonate: Baylor football beat Texas.

Early in Saturday's game, the No. 25/24 ranked Bears were not the well-oiled machine fans have come to expect. But running back Jay Finley's 116 rush yards and one touchdown and Robert Griffin's 219 yards and two touchdowns through the air supplemented a stingy defense for the first Baylor win in Austin since 1991, this time a 30-22 decision.

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No. 10 quarterback Robert Griffin is chased by Texas No. 18 linebacker Emmanuel Acho Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
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Photos by Daniel Cernero | Photo Editor
No. 10 quarterback Robert Griffin stretches in an attempt to gain yardage Saturday. Baylor beat Texas 30-22.

"We have been going down to the wire at Texas Tech, Colorado and Kansas State, and since we have been going down to the wire, we are used to being in that situation," coach Art Briles said.

"Our guys just think that something good is going to happen and [they] are believing that."

The momentum seemed to change late in the third quarter, just after the Longhorns failed to expand their 19-10 lead and missed a 48-yard field goal. Finley took the Bears' first play of the ensuing drive up the middle, dashing 69 yards for a score that was part of 20 unanswered Baylor points.

Texas' subsequent drive lasted two plays, as safety Tim Atchison jarred a pass loose from an intended receiver and linebacker Antonio Johnson snatched it out of the air.

Griffin turned the resulting possession into a touchdown when he lunged into the end zone from a yard out, giving Baylor a 23-19 lead after a missed two-point conversion.

Three plays before the touchdown, Briles' team faced a fourth-and-1 from the 2-yard line. Instead of kicking a field goal, Briles was thinking touchdown all the way.

"When you are on the road, if you can do something to swing the momentum, you got to take a shot at it. You got to have faith in your guys to do it," Briles said.

The Baylor defense forced a punt, and the offense turned the opportunity into points. It converted two third downs on the next drive, the second of which was a 30-yard post pass to Kendall Wright for a touchdown and 30-19 lead.

The Longhorns managed a field goal but fumbled on their final drive.

After joining his teammates in a loud and joyous locker room celebration, Griffin admitted he started slowly.

"I just wasn't on today," Griffin said." On the drives that we put up points, I was on enough to help us."

Texas got on the scoreboard first after Griffin mishandled a shotgun snap on Baylor's game-opening drive. The Longhorns reached the Bears' 9-yard line and settled for a field goal.

Three more times before halftime, the Baylor defenders held Texas to field goals as the Baylor offense struggled to find its rhythm. Atchison said that after the first stand, his defense could feel confidence and momentum building.

"Once we got the few stops in the redzone we knew that we had control of their offense. We were confident in that and it was just a matter of finishing the game," Atchison said.

Griffin kept his team in the game with an equalizing touchdown before the half. He beat a Longhorn blitz by finding wide receiver Terrance Williams over the middle, and Williams evaded a tackler for a 59-yard touchdown.

"Before I threw that pass to T-Dub, I missed a hot [route]. It was third and 10 and I was looking for the deep ball and I got sacked. Next time I threw the hot [route] and he ran forever," Griffin said.

The score gave Baylor a short-lived 10-9 advantage before Texas ended the half with its fourth field goal of the game.

The win keeps the Bears atop the Big 12 South. Looking ahead, the Bears say the sky is the limit.

"We're number one right now, so that's all I'm saying. Get ready," Finley said.

Baylor does in fact control its own destiny. If it can complete the difficult task of winning its final three games, beginning Saturday when it takes on Oklahoma State on the road, the Bears will win the Big 12 South.