Defense may win championships, but 66-42 games draw much bigger crowds, and the crowd at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday saw all the offense they could want in the shootout victory of the Baylor Bears (8-3) over Texas Tech (5-7).
The loss was the seventh of the season for the Red Raiders marking the first time since 1992 Tech has failed to be bowl eligible and the first time ever in Big 12 play.
The first half was nearly a carbon copy of last year's game in the Cotton Bowl as Baylor jumped out to the first half lead 31-28 behind the power of the 2nd ranked offense in the nation.
The Bears out rushed the Red Raiders 188-0 in the first half and 360 yards for the game. But Tech was no slouch themselves as Seth Doege led their high powered offense to a perfect three for three in red zone opportunities in the half.
"I'm sure if you ask anybody on the team there's a couple of plays that each guy would like to get back and wanting to do it over," he said. "It just comes down to not making enough plays to win the game."
It started to become of a question of which team would make fewer mistakes, because the first half was full of hard hitting and bad blood.
The two teams combined to commit 13 penalties for 135 yards in the first half alone including five personal fouls and two unsportsmanlike conducts.
Coach Tommy Tuberville was called for one of the unsportsmanlike conducts after Tech was called for a delay of game on defense on a fourth and seven late in the half.
"It looked like it got personal out there for some reason," he said. "But we settled down after that, it was just tough on us."
That drive also saw one of the hardest hits of the game as Terrance Bullitt nearly took the head off Junior quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Bullitt was called for targeting on the play, as Griffin laid motionless on the ground for several heart-stopping moments. But he got back up, sat out a play, and came back to run for a four yard touchdown to put the Bears up 31-21 with 1:36 left in the half.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Baylor's kicker booted the ball out of bounds allowing Tech to start on the forty yard line and march down the field in just over a minute to pull within three before halftime.
In the second half, Baylor started with the ball, but Griffin was nowhere to be seen. Junior Quarterback Nick Florence came out to start the half for the Bears.
Griffin was ruled out for the rest of the game with an undisclosed injury, but the Bears' offense picked up right where it left off at the end of the half.
Tuberville said they never like to see a player go down with an injury, but it didn't seem to change much in their scheme.
Florence didn't flinch when he was called on to replace the Heisman Trophy candidate as he led the Bears to touchdowns on two of their first three drives in the second half.
And where the Red Raiders couldn't stop the run in the first half, Florence went on to exploit Tech's pass defense in the second half in route to 9-12 passing.
Not to mention, it seemed like the entire Baylor team just started to get going when Griffin went out. They held Tech to one touchdown in the 3rd quarter and added a touchdown on an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Joe Williams to put the Bears up 52-28.
But Tech was not to be outdone. They charged back in the early portion of the fourth quarter when they forced a Kendall Wright fumble on the Bears' 33 yard line and scored on the next play with a 33 yard touchdown pass from Doege to Ward.
Ward set the receiving record for Tech with 16 catches in the game and he added151 yards and two touchdowns.
"It's the will to want," he said. "I just ran, and I just had it in my mind that I wasn't going to be stopped, so I just kept running."
But it was too little too late for Tech as the Bears added another touchdown on a run by Nick Florence to put the Bears up 59-42 and added six more to bring the final score to 66-42 as Tech failed to score again.
This is Tech's first losing season since 1992 and the first time the Red Raiders have lost to Baylor since 1995.
Baylor's season continues next week as they take on the University of Texas in Waco, and Texas Tech will have to take the short flight back to Lubbock and start preparing for next year.