Prior to the sexual assault scandal that shook the football program, Baylor University under head coach Art Briles was known for its ability to put up points. One of the most thrilling and unlikely victories of his tenure came in a top-10 match-up on this day five years ago.
The No. 5 Bears were 5-0 as they played host to ninth-ranked TCU on Oct. 11, 2014. The contest would be the highest scoring match-up between top-10 teams ever as Baylor scored the game’s final 24 points to escape with a 61-58 victory.
Until the clock hit triple-zeros, TCU never trailed, but throughout the early parts of the game, it was close. The Horned Frogs led 31-27 at halftime behind three touchdowns — two rushes and one kickoff return — from B.J. Catalon. Thanks to touchdown runs from Trevorris Johnson and Aaron Green and an interception return for a score from Marcus Mallet, TCU led 58-37 with less than 12 minutes to go.
That turned out to be too much time for quarterback Bryce Petty and the high-powered Baylor offense.
Devin Chafin scored from seven yards out to cut the lead to 14 less than a minute later. Over the next two defensive series, the Bears would hold the Horned Frogs to just 24 total yards.
Offensively, Baylor would mount back-to-back 5-play touchdown drives of longer than 90 yards as Petty threw touchdowns to Antwan Goodley and Corey Coleman to knot the game at 58 with less than five minutes to go. The Horned Frogs proceeded to drive into Baylor territory when they came to a 4th-and-3 situation from the Baylor 45-yard-line.
After watching his defense give up consecutive touchdown drives of over 90 yards, TCU head coach Gary Patterson had no choice, but to keep his offense on the field. Trevone Boykin’s fourth down pass was incomplete and the Bears took over with 1:11 to play.
Petty passed for 510 yards and six touchdowns for Baylor, but the majority of the damage on the final drive came from Shock Linwood, who rushed for 29 yards on the drive. The Bears were aided by a pass interference call as kicker Chris Callahan made his way onto the field to attempt a 28-yard field goal with four seconds remaining.
Callahan had been just 1-for-6 on field goal attempts entering the contest, but finished 4-for-4 on the day. His kick sailed through as time expired, completing the improbable comeback.
Baylor would finish that afternoon in Waco with 782 yards of offense to 485 for TCU. Three different Baylor receivers eclipsed the 100-yard mark while Linwood led all rushers with 178 yards on 29 carries. Boykin passed for 287 yards for the Horned Frogs in the loss. Kolby Listenbee finished with 146 yards receiving and a touchdown for TCU.
At the time, the win looked to put Baylor in the Big 12 driver’s seat, but the Bears lost the following week to West Virginia. Interesting enough, Baylor’s season concluded with the Bears blowing a 20-point fourth-quarter lead to Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.
The loss would serve as the only blemish for TCU, but ultimately cost the Horned Frogs a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff. TCU would finish 12-1 with a 42-3 Peach Bowl blowout of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl and a No. 3 national ranking. Fans in Fort Worth can only wonder what might have been had TCU not blown a 21-point fourth-quarter lead on this day five years ago.
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