Baylor Game Summary

Before a sizable portion of the student section had stumbled into DKR for the late-morning kickoff, SE <B>Roy Williams</b> had already strutted into the end zone. After QB <B>Chris Simms</b> found Williams on a seven-yard sideline pass to open the game, the duo went up top on the next play. The 73-yard TD strike to Williams on a post-pattern, his longest reception of the season, quickly put Texas on the board, 7-0.

Simms audibled at the line of scrimmage when he noticed the free safety cheating toward the line of scrimmage as Baylor went with an eight-man front. The senior called for a double-post pattern for both Williams and FL B.J. Johnson, knowing that he would likely have a one-on-one matchup with one of the receivers.

The two-play drive covered 80 yards in 24 seconds.

"I thought (Roy's catch) was really big because if you look at Baylor's halftime scores, they've been close and tight," head coach Mack Brown said. "We felt that if we could jump out on them very quickly and discourage them, and not let them get excited, then that would help us throughout the game. The second play of the game set the tempo."

DT Stevie Lee, subbing for injured DT Marcus Tubbs, set the defensive tone early by throwing QB Aaron Karas for a 10-yard loss. Following the three-and-out, CB Nathan Vasher's 16-yard return of a 38- yard Jeremy Parker punt set up the Horns in Baylor territory. Vasher contributed 81 yards on four returns, evidence that he is fully recovered from the ankle injury suffered against North Carolina.

"I have to give all the credit to the guys up front," Vasher said, commending his blockers. "They had every hole opened up on all the punts I returned."

But two false start penalties on the drive, including one on a fake, 42-yard field goal attempt, forced Texas into a 19-yard Dusty Mangum pooch kick.

Baylor picked up a couple of first downs on its next possession, including one on a pass interference penalty. The defense would stiffen and Parker would launch a 51-yard punt (his longest of seven on the afternoon). The bad news for the Bears is that he kept punting right at Vasher, who returned this one 38 yards to the Baylor 27.

Benson would carry six times for 17 yards on the drive and Baylor would add an offsides penalty before Simms found Johnson over the middle for a five-yard touchdown toss. Texas led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

On UT's next possession, TE Brock Edwards fumbled at the end of a 35-yard completion and Baylor took over on its own 37 to start the second quarter. But the Bears quickly returned the favor three plays later. Freshman CB Edorian McCullough stripped WR Robert Quiroga of the ball and freshman SS Michael Huff recovered at the Baylor 33. The turnover set up a 42-yard Mangum FG, and Texas led 17-0 with 11:32 remaining in the first half.

The defense then forced a three-and-out and Texas took over on the BU 33. A couple of passes to Williams netted 20 yards, while Roy added another five on a reverse. The six-play, 33-yard drive culminated with Simms' 15-yard TD strike to FL Tony Jeffery. The Horns extended their lead to 24-0.

Baylor showed signs of life on its next series when Karas hit WR Reggie Newhouse (the school's all-time leading receiver) over the middle under heavy blitz for an apparent 72-yard completion but a holding penalty nullified the big gainer. Instead of a first down at the Texas 14, the Bears now faced third-and-22 from their own 7. After freshman DE Bryan Pickryl tackled Karas just outside of the goal line, Vasher's 22-yard return set up Texas at the BU 15 with 5:17 remaining. A Baylor offside penalty spotted Texas five yards, and Benson would run it in from 10 yards out.

The defense forced another three-and-out, allowing Texas to take over on its own 38-yard line (miserable field position by this game's standards). The Horns reached the Baylor 16 on the heels of a 16-yard completion to Williams, a 14-yard toss to Johnson and a questionable roughing penalty against Simms (Simms was soundly thumped but after he had clearly crossed the line of scrimmage on a pass attempt). The drive ended when CB Bobby Hart picked off Simms in the end zone. (You get the impression that Simms was trying to force the issue by getting SE Sloan Thomas a TD so that the Triplets would each have a scoring grab by halftime. Thomas, still slowed by a nagging hamstring injury, would spend the second half in street clothes).

"I got ear-holed pretty hard on both sides of my helmet on the interception," Simms said, "but I have a pretty hard head."

At intermission, Simms was 15-17 for 203 yards and three touchdowns. But here's a halftime stat you don't see every day: Baylor led in time-of-possession (16:01) and had all of 34 total yards (37 passing, and negative three rushing). Of course, Texas was scoring quick on a shortened field while Baylor ran a lot of clock marching backwards.

"The kids handled it better in the second half today than they did against North Texas," head coach Mack Brown said. "We stepped up and played well today throughout the game."

Texas opened the third quarter when FS Kendal Briles picked off a Karas pass and returned it 11 yards to the BU 44. From there, Benson basically nickel-and-dimed Baylor to death (seven carries, 19 yards), plus freshman TE David Thomas picked up 16-yards on a crossing pattern. The 10-play, 36-yard drive resulted in a 36-yard Mangum FG. Texas led 34-0.

"He (Briles) kept working back, working back, working back," Reese said. "We had an interesting battle going on (at free safety between Briles and Dakarai Pearson). I think we have a good depth situation."

Baylor reached the Texas 34 on its next possession after RB Rashad Armstrong jitterbugged for 24 yards (his longest carry of the day, posting a team-leading 52 yards on the ground). But two Karas incompletes under heavy pressure forced a 30-yard pooch kick to the Texas four. Texas would move to its own 34 before a pair of incompletions stalled the drive, resulting in Brian Bradford's only appearance of the afternoon.

Baylor's last gasp of the afternoon was snuffed out when Briles ended a 10-play, 45-yard drive with his second interception of the day at the UT one-yard line. Briles returned the pick 18 yards, giving QB Chance Mock the, uh, chance, to see duty the rest of the afternoon with 13:45 remaining.

The feisty Mock put some zing on the ball when he completed an 18-yard strike to Williams, giving Texas a first down at the BU 37. But this drive belonged to freshman RB Selvin Young (the game's leading rusher with 98 yards on 14 carries). Following Williams' reception, Texas' final scoring drive went like this: Young for 11, Young for 7, Young for 9, Young for 13, Baylor calls timeout so Young can catch a breather, Young for 7, Young for 3, and then Young carries it in from the 13 to seal the deal: Texas 41, Baylor 0.

After the game, lame duck (but classy) Baylor coach Kevin Steele sought out Simms to congratulate him on his performance.

"He said some very encouraging words that I really appreciated," Simms said.

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