WACO, Texas (AP) -- Bill Cosby gave a free concert at Floyd Casey
Stadium a month ago in hopes of lifting the spirits of the Baylor
campus. As funny as he was, the jolly mood that night was nothing
compared to the thrill the football team provided Saturday.
The Bears -- winners of just four games in seven Big 12 seasons
and losers of 37 of their last 38 conference games -- overcame a
slow start to score five touchdowns in a span of 17:15 and beat
two-time reigning Big 12 North champion Colorado 42-30.
Aaron Karas threw three touchdown passes, Rashad Armstrong ran
for 166 yards and two touchdowns and the defense made several huge
plays, including a fumble return for a score and a goal-line stop
that prevented a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
It was a tremendous conference opener for new coach Guy Morriss,
and a sweet moment for even-newer athletic director Ian McCaw, who
watched Baylor (3-2, 1-0 Big 12) play for the first time.
"The defense was fired up, the offense was fired up and the
crowd was fired up," linebacker Justin Crooks said. "That's what
wins you games."
The fired-up fans were peaceful after the game, swarming the
middle of the field and jumping up and down.
Once players left, however, students noticed that while one
goalpost was guarded by police, the other was surrounded only by
volunteers. Several hundred fans stopped at that goal line, waited
for reinforcements then charged into the end zone to chants of
"Go! Go! Go!"
They toppled the uprights quickly, marched it around the field
and out of the stadium.
There's more to this celebration because joy has been scarce
around Baylor lately.
The bad news began with the disappearance of basketball player
Patrick Dennehy in mid-June. Dennehy was later found dead, a former
teammate charged with murdering him. Then scandal swept the team,
leading to the shameful resignation of the coach and athletic
director and an investigation that could lead to stiff penalties
from the NCAA.
Football hasn't provided much relief, despite victories the two
previous games over lowly SMU and Division I-AA Sam Houston State.
This one, though, came against a Colorado team ranked 17th a few
weeks ago, making this among the most memorable victories in
"There's been so much frustration, the basketball situation is
really sad -- now we've got a good bead on what to do," said Karas,
who was 18-of-28 for 207 yards, with TDs of 8, 25 and 26 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, running the Bears' shutout
streak against Colorado to nine straight periods, no one was
thinking about dumping goalposts.
Everything changed a few minutes into the second quarter, when
Baylor took over after a field goal put Colorado up 3-0.
Karas led touchdown drives on four of the next five possessions,
with the only non-score coming over the final minute of the first
half. The defense contributed, too, with Jamaal Harper returning a
fumble 7 yards for the touchdown that put Baylor ahead 28-23, then
a series of plays that made the lead stand up.
"The ball came right to me," Harper said. "It bounced right
into my hands."
Two snaps later, CU quarterback Erik Greenberg fumbled a snap
and Crooks recovered, leading to a 3-yard touchdown by Armstrong
and a 35-23 advantage. Then Baylor botched a punt and Greenberg
threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Derek McCoy, getting Colorado
(2-3, 0-1) within 35-30.
With 1:11 left in the third, it seemed like the Buffs' pedigree
might help them pull through -- or that Baylor would return to its
Instead, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Crooks helped
throw Brian Calhoun for a 2-yard loss on fourth down from the 1.
Then the Bears drove it all 97 yards, with Armstrong scoring on a
The Buffs benched Greenberg (16-of-29 for 346 yards and two TDs)
and turned to Joel Klatt, who was superb in winning the first two
games but hadn't played since hurting his throwing shoulder in the
His first pass became his first career interception.
"We are having confidence issues," said Klatt, who finished
3-of-8 for 53 yards. "It's hard to put a finger on what is going
wrong, but we need to get our fire back. We prepared for Baylor,
but they just outplayed us."
Baylor has won three straight for the first time since going 3-0
in 1996, which came before its first Big 12 game.
The Buffaloes are on their first three-game skid since opening
0-4 in 2000. It doesn't bode well for Colorado that every team that
has lost to Baylor has had a losing record that year.