We’ve been counting down the 10 best games of the year in the Big 12, and here's No. 4. It wasn't expected to be one of the best games. TCU's offense was more productive than Baylor's during this battle in late November. Leave your expectations at the door, folks.
No. 4: Nov. 30 Baylor 41, TCU 38
TCU was calling this its bowl game, Baylor was looking to rebound after getting run off the field in Stillwater the week before.
What happened: Baylor’s defense won the game. Yes, you read that right.
The Bears’ defense scored touchdowns late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter to give BU a comfortable 34-17 lead after interception returns from Eddie Lackey and Orion Stewart. Then the Bears stopped TCU’s last-minute drive with Terrell Burt’s interception in the end zone. Baylor’s defense wasn’t dominant by any stretch of the imagination but it made key plays when needed and kept Baylor’s Big 12 title hopes intact.
TCU held Baylor’s offense to 370 yards and 4.11 yards per play, season lows. But the Horned Frogs’ four turnovers left them with a minus-26 points off turnover margin to try to make up.
It was game that showed the Bears, while headlined by their offense, became Big 12 champions because of the progression of their defense.
Player of the game: Lackey. The senior linebacker finished with six tackles, one sack, one interception return for a touchdown and one quarterback hurry. He was active, aggressive and efficient as the backbone of the Bears’ defense.
Stat of the game: 136. The Bears returned interceptions for 136 yards with Lackey’s 54-yard return and Stewart’s 82-yard return. Not only did the Bears score off their interceptions, they stopped drives that were potential scoring drives for the Horned Frogs.
Quotable: “It's possibly the biggest win that we've experienced -- one of the biggest -- since we've been at Baylor the last six years.” -- Baylor coach Art Briles.
The rest of the list: