Baylor Spoils Kansas' Senior Day in Overtime
Nov. 12, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Robert Griffin III proved why he is one of the nation’s best quarterbacks as he guided the No. 25 Baylor Bears from a 21-point deficit to defeat Kansas, 31-30 in overtime, on KU’s Senior Day at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Kansas led 24-3 in the fourth quarter, but Griffin III would not let the Bears go down without a fight as he threw for 312 yards on 22-for-29 passing with three touchdowns. Griffin added another 103 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
With the loss, Kansas dropped to 2-8 overall and 0-7 in Big 12 play, while Baylor became bowl eligible improving to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
KU freshman running back Darrian Miller recorded a career-high 147 yards on 24 carries to lead the Jayhawks who amassed 404 yards total offense for the game.
In overtime, Baylor went on offense first and Griffin III found wide receiver Tevin Reese open on a slant pattern from 14 yards out. It was the second time the quarterback-wide receiver combo hooked up for a touchdown on the day.
Kansas responded needing only one play in overtime as quarterback Jordan Webb found tight end Tim Biere for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Head coach Turner Gill decided to go all-in as he sent his offense back onto the field to attempt a game-winning two-point conversion. However, Webb’s pass fell to the ground as two Baylor defenders knocked it away from Biere in the corner of the end zone.
After holding Baylor to only 130 yards of total offense in the first half, the Bears exploded in the fourth quarter and finished with 505 yards of total offense.
Kansas had a chance to put some pressure on Baylor as the Jayhawks were driving on their opening possession of the second half, but an interception by Baylor’s Mike Hicks at the Bears three-yard line put an abrupt halt to the drive.
On the Jayhawks’ ensuing drive, KU took advantage of excellent field position as freshman running back Tony Pierson dashed 34 yards to the end zone giving KU a 24-3 lead with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter. The touchdown was Pierson’s third of the season.
Baylor would not go away quietly as Griffin III sped to the end zone from 49 yards out to cut the deficit to 24-10 with 11:45 remaining in the game. The Bears needed to strike quickly and they did, going 89 yards in only five plays and taking only 1:07 off the clock.
Again the Bears used little time to strike again on their very next offensive possession as the drive covered 98 yards on just six plays in 1:53. Griffin III hooked up with a wide-open Terrence Williams from 36 yards away to shrink Kansas’ lead to 24-17 and 7:58 left to play.
Griffin III tied the game up on a 67-yard touchdown pass to Reese. Griffin III’s pass was underthrown, but Reese was able to come back and make the catch as safety Keeston Terry could not corral the speedy receiver.
KU took just over five minutes off the clock on its opening drive to take a 3-0 lead from a 37-yard field goal by sophomore Ron Doherty. On the drive, the Jayhawks were led by Miller as he picked up 32 yards on only four carries.
A fumble by Griffin III late in the first quarter gave the Jayhawks excellent field position. Griffin III attempted a late pitch to the running back, but the pitch went awry and senior linebacker Steven Johnson recovered the ball just before falling out of bounds.
KU took full advantage of the turnover as the Jayhawks marched 49 yards in nine plays, capped off by a two-yard touchdown run from sophomore wide receiver Christian Matthews. Matthews’ touchdown run was the first of his career and gave KU a 10-0 lead over the No. 25 Baylor Bears with 12:50 left in the second quarter.
After one quarter of play, the Jayhawks outgained the Bears 116-33 in total yards of offense, with 93 of those yards coming on the ground.
In what looked like a huge momentum shift as Webb was hit during his throwing motion and intercepted by Baylor’s Elliot Coffey. During the return as Coffey was stretching for the pylon he lost control of the ball and was recovered in mid-air by senior center Jeremiah Hatch in the end zone. After all was said and done, Kansas kept possession of the ball and would later be forced to punt.
The Jayhawks used a methodical drive at the end of the second quarter to take a 17-0 lead into halftime. The 11-play, 55-yard drive was highlighted by a two-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back James Sims.
Baylor got on the scoreboard as time expired in the first half on a 37-yard field goal by Aaron Jones.
Kansas hits the road for its final conference true road game of the 2011 season when the Jayhawks travel to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, Nov. 19. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT and will be broadcast on FSN.