Orion Stewart, B.J. Catalon

Baylor uses defense to hold on to beat TCU


No. 9 Baylor usually wins its games by completely overwhelming its opponents with an explosive offense that piles up yardage on the ground and in the air.

Against TCU on Saturday, however, the Bears relied on two huge defensive plays to upend the Horned Frogs, 41-38, in Fort Worth.

With the victory, Baylor improved to 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the Big 12. TCU dropped to 4-8 and 2-7.

Baylor was once again sluggish on offense, gaining just 370 total yards. Of course there was a reason for that — the Bears had two fewer possessions than they normally would have.

That was the result of two passes by TCU quarterback Casey Pachall that ultimately decided the game.

The first came with the Bears up 20-17 with just 31 seconds left in the second quarter. Orion Stewart intercepted a Pachall pass and returned it 82 yards for a score to make it 27-17 going into the half.

TCU got the ball back in the third quarter and Pachall’s third pass of the half was taken 54 yards to the house by linebacker Eddie Lackey.

Suddenly, a close game was blown open a bit and Baylor led, 34-17. The Bears needed both touchdowns, too, as they only scored one more touchdown — a 33-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Petty to Levi Norwood in the third stanza.

Pachall did his best to rally the Horned Frogs, first rushing for a four-yard touchdown before finding Jeff Doctson for a 16-yard score. His 22-yard touchdown pass to David Porter on the first play of the fourth quarter cut the lead to 41-38.

But Pachall’s last pass was intercepted by Terrell Burt at the Baylor goal line with 11 seconds to play. Petty took the kneel and Baylor escaped with the win.

It was another tough loss for the Horned Frogs, who have now dropped five of their last six.

This is clearly not the same Baylor team we’ve seen for most of the year, either. Whether it’s a combination of injuries or confidence, the offense just isn’t clicking like it was just a few weeks ago. On the other hand, Baylor has plenty to play for, namely its first-ever Big 12 title. All the Bears have to do is beat Texas and hope Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State. Piece of cake, right?

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.

Temple announces rare football sellout

Jahad Thomas, Marcus Allen

In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.

This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.

It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.

The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.