By JASON ORTS, Associated Press
WACO, Texas (AP) — Shane Buechele threw for a touchdown and ran for another to lead Texas to a 38-7 victory over winless Baylor on Saturday.
DeShon Elliot intercepted Baylor quarterback Zach Smith and returned it 43 yards for a score in the first minute of the game, and the Longhorns never trailed. It was Elliot’s national-leading sixth interception of the season and the second he returned for a score.
It was also the beginning of a defensive performance for Texas (4-4, 3-2 Big 12) in which it forced three turnovers and limited Baylor to 249 yards of total offense — 3.3 yards per play.
“They’re carrying us right now,” Texas coach Tom Herman said. “If there’s one side of the ball I would like to carry us, it’s that side. That’s number one on our plan to win is play great defense. We’re doing that pretty well right now.”
Buechele’s touchdown pass was a 15-yard strike to Lil’Jordan Humphrey early in the second quarter to cap a 90-yard drive. Up to that point, Texas had 65 yards of total offense and had squandered a chance when a field goal was blocked after a fumble set the Longhorns up at the Baylor 16. His rushing score came later in the second quarter on a zone-read keeper one play after Baylor punter Connor Martin dropped a snap and fell on it at his own 28. That made it a 21-7 Texas lead at halftime.
Buechele was 27 of 34 for 256 yards and an interception, and Toneil Carter and Daniel Young scored rushing touchdowns of 19 and 31 yards, respectively, in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Smith and freshman Charlie Brewer rotated in at quarterback throughout for the Bears (0-8, 0-5), but neither could get them moving. Brewer was 17 for 27 for 181 yards, while Smith added 37 yards on a 4-of-11 day.
Shane Buechele Texas Longhorns quarterback gets a lot of credit for win
“Give credit to the University of Texas. They played a good football game,” Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. “Defensively, I thought they were spectacular. I thought Shane Buechele was a difference-maker on a day he really needed to be one, so credit to him.”
Texas: The Longhorns’ defensive effort afforded their offense the edge in field position all day. Their average starting spot was their own 46, and they began four drives in Baylor territory. Those resulted in 17 points. The defense also got off the field, as Baylor was 4 for 18 on third down and 1 for 5 on fourth down.
Baylor: The Bears had cause for optimism after last week’s 38-36 loss to then-No. 23 West Virginia, but never got things going offensively. They were especially anemic in the running game and finished with 31 yards on 37 carries. Brewer’s scrambling gave the Bears life in the fourth quarter last week, but he was hemmed in for minus-9 yards on 13 carries.
Texas: Continues a stretch in which it plays three of four games on the road against No. 4 TCU.
Baylor: Travels to meet Kansas, which entered Saturday’s game with Kansas State winless in the Big 12.
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