With the team in black, the Baylor leadership in green and the Baylor faithful in all sorts of colors and shades, the Baylor Bears stormed onto the field against the TCU Horned Frogs looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season. The bounce was limited to just the second play of the game, an 81-yard touchdown pass from Seth Russell to Ishmael Zamora that put the Bears up 7-0. After that, it was all TCU as the Horned Frogs scored the next 31 points in a dominant 62-22 victory over Baylor.
"I worried, after Texas that was a tough loss for us, and I worried how we would bounce back.," said head coach Jim Grobe. "But, obviously not. . . . I didn't think we played good in any aspect defensively, run or pass. And then offensively, we were just really flat early and kind of go out of the game by halftime and really never got it going again in the second half."
After Baylor's 7-0 lead, the Horned Frogs responded quickly with a 46-yard kickoff return by Kevonta Turpin. Four plays later, quarterback Kenny Hill would find Taj Williams for a 37-yard touchdown.
With offensive fireworks on the first drive, the Bears high-powered offense went off the rails for the remainder of the first half. Over the next 6 drives, the Bears would gain just 50-yards of offense, while TCU would score 24-points, including a back breaking interception returned for a touchdown by Ranthony Texada.
Baylor would average just 3.84 yards per play after their initial touchdown, while allowing TCU to average 7.6. It was a complete domination by the Frogs against a Baylor team that simply wasn't prepared or ready Saturday afternoon.
However, the embarrassment spread from the field as rain cloud set a somber stage on the afternoon. Early in 2016, the Baylor coaching staff, led by Art Briles, began using the hashtag #CAB, which stood for "Champions are Built". Since Briles firing in May though, some are using it to support Coach Art Briles. With a faction of Baylor fans calling to "black out" the game with #CAB shirts being sold at tailgates, and a #CAB banner being hung from a prominently placed suite near the 50-yard line, the Baylor fanbase once again appeared at odds with itself.
National media began calling Baylor fans, all of them, out for the protest, even pointing to sophomore wide receiver Chris Platt's earlier tweet that alluded to the fact that the players wanted to wear black to protest their coach being fired (Platt later tweeted a lengthy argument to the contrary). The stage was set for the warring factions at Baylor to make their statement through a simple color choice. With a fractured Baylor University, true healing and improvement will never happen.
The only true statement that was made however was the lack of quality football Baylor would play against rival TCU. They were out-manned on the offensive and defensive lines as TCU controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, gashing the porous Baylor run defense for 431 yards , 7.3 yards per rush and 6-team touchdowns. Junior running back Kyle Hicks scored 5-touchdowns himself, and led TCU with 192 rushing yards.
Baylor's rushing attack stalled out, with none of the three primary running backs getting much of anything going. Terence Williams got the start, and the bulk of the carries early on but could only gain 68 yards on 18 carries. JaMycal Hasty contributed 42 yards on 12 carries while senior Shock Linwood had just 27 yards, all of which came in the second half.
With the Bears rushing attack stuck in neutral, the Baylor passing attack could not make the big plays to keep drives going. Seth Russell continued to struggle with accuracy issues, and made some more decisions by throwing into double or even triple coverage early in the game. He was 22-42 for the game, but started 6-15.
There are four games left for the Baylor Bears, starting with a tough road trip to Oklahoma this next weekend for an 11am kickoff. The Bears hope they can bounce back and show an improved effort.
"We'll get back tomorrow and look at the video and figure out how much of it was our players not doing what they were supposed to do and how much of it was our scheme," Grobe said. "I think that's the thing you've got to do as a football coach is make sure that the blame doesn't all go on the players, that coaches have a big responsibility to put in a game plan that gives the kids a chance, and that the kids are able to execute that plan."