DENTON, Texas (AP) -- Six possessions, six turnovers, a streak
that ended only when the quarterback took a knee to end the first
half. The second half began with a botched kickoff, setting up the
first of five straight touchdown drives.
This was ugly, even by Baylor's standards.
The Bears lost to North Texas 52-14 Saturday night, giving new
coach Guy Morriss a stunning realization of just how much
rebuilding he must do with the Big 12's most beleaguered program.
Baylor (0-2) lost on the road for the 31st time in 32 tries --
and at the site of the only victory in that span. The Bears have
dropped 15 straight away from Waco. This also was their first loss
to the Mean Green (1-1) in 12 tries.
"It's a step backwards," said Morriss, hired from Kentucky
after a nice turnaround in two years there.
"I thought we'd come out and play a more mistake-free style of
football than we played tonight. We've been talking about that type
of stuff. I emphasized it during the course of the week. I thought
the kids understood where we were coming from and would get it to
work for them. Obviously, somewhere along the way, we didn't get it
communicated very well."
One week after blowing a lead against Alabama-Birmingham in the
final minute, Baylor never led and was never even in the game.
The Bears' first drive ended with quarterback Aaron Karas
fumbling and 315-pound defensive tackle Brandon Kennedy returning
it 24 yards for a touchdown. The next series ended with John Martin
fumbling after making a catch for a first down at the North Texas
Patrick Cobb took the next snap 81 yards for a touchdown. Then
the Mean Green turned an interception into a 32-yard field goal.
Another fumble and two more interceptions followed. The streak
ended when Karas took a knee to run out the final 18 seconds of the
"Nobody can overcome six turnovers," Morriss said. "I told
the kids at halftime we were fortunate to be down only 17 because
we'd done everything wrong in the book."
Well, almost everything.
The Bears gave away the opening kickoff of the third quarter
when nobody fielded a high, short kick. As it went bouncing toward
the end zone, North Texas' Johnny Quinn jumped on it at the 13. Roy
Bishop ran it in from there two plays later to make it 24-0.
A similar kickoff followed and Baylor caught it this time. But
the offense went backwards 12 yards in three downs, forcing their
first punt. Bishop capped the ensuing drive with a 9-yard touchdown
run. He scored from the 1 later in the quarter.
Kevin Moore had a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth, then
Mitchell scored one play after a blocked punt. North Texas' final
drive was the only time it didn't score in the second half.
Baylor scored on a 9-yard pass from Karas to Jonathan Evans
after a blocked punt midway through the third quarter that made it
31-7. The Bears added a 1-yard touchdown run from Anthony Krieg in
the closing minutes.
Baylor's Rashad Armstrong had 89 yards on 18 carries, only one
in the second half, to end his streak of consecutive 100-yard games
Playing before a record home crowd of 29,437, UNT scored its
most points since 1993, two years before returning to Division I-A.
It was their most against a I-A team since 1968, when Mean Joe
Greene was a senior.
North Texas was coming off a 37-3 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma in its
opener. If the Mean Green are 34 points worse than the Sooners but
38 points better than the Bears, then Baylor could really be in
trouble when it plays in Norman on Nov. 15.
Cobbs ran for 131 yards on 10 carries, then left after
aggravating a thigh injury sustained in the opener. Bishop had 107
yards on 19 carries and freshman James Mitchell had a 28-yard
touchdown run on his first career carry.
UNT finished with 327 yards rushing and another 124 passing.
"We really wanted to throw the ball more, but we had so much
success running we were able to wear them down," said Mean Green
coach Darrell Dickey.
North Texas, the two-time reigning Sun Belt champions, beat a
Big 12 team for the third time since returning to Division I in
1995. The Mean Green beat Texas Tech twice.
Their series against Baylor dates to 1922. UNT was shut out in
five of the previous 11 and never came closer than four. The Bears
had never scored fewer than 20 points.
Nike Men's Baylor Bears Green Football Icon Legend T-ShirtShop
Former Blinn College coach Brad Franchione describes Panthers star Cam Newton's transformation from playing at the junior college in 2009 to playing in Super Bowl 50.
North Carolina inked the No. 34-ranked recruiting class in the 2016 cycle with one ESPN 300 (Tomon Fox) and four more four-stars. The class of 2017 is well on the way to besting the 2016 class with four ESPN Jr300 verbals less than one week after signing day with the most recent being in state receiver Ryan Jones Friday.
Oregon running back Thomas Tyner has decided to take a medical retirement after sitting out all of last season because of a shoulder injury.
It hasn't been an easy road at USC for Pat Haden, the former Trojans quarterback turned athletic director, but at 63, he's earned the right to relax.
Readers want to know about all "downer" material, Iowa cutting ties with Stanford and an inherent southern bias in recruiting rankings.
What did we learn from the Big 12 conference sessions this week? Jake Trotter sorts it out in this edition of the mailbag.