It’s 30 degrees in Waco, but the offenses of Texas and Baylor are even colder.
Playing in what amounts to a de facto Big 12 title game (thanks to Oklahoma’s upset of Oklahoma State), No. 9 Baylor and No. 25 Texas went into halftime deadlocked at 3-3 as the frigid weather prevented both teams from getting untracked.
The direction of the wind seemed to be the biggest predictor of success for either team. When the Bears had the wind at their backs in the first quarter, they looked to be in rhythm on offense and came away with some early points courtesy of a 22-yard field goal by Aaron Jones. Meanwhile, the Texas offense couldn’t get untracked and Baylor was so confident in its ability to stop the Longhorns that it tried a fake punt on 4th and 7 from its own 43-yard line. It failed, but the Texas offense couldn’t make the Bears pay.
Once the two teams switched sides in the second quarter, Texas looked better. Longhorns running back Malcolm Brown started to get rolling and Texas evened things out with a 42-yard Anthony Fera field goal. Brown finished the half with 118 yards on 17 carries.
With the wind swirling and the ball as cold as a stone, this is not a game for quarterbacks. Baylor’s Bryce Petty threw for 170 yards on 13 of 23 passing, but every completion was like picking teeth. Case McCoy was worse, completing 7 of 19 for just 38 yards.
This game could favor the team that runs the ball best, which means Texas could have the edge heading into the second half, unless Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk (21 yards on 7 carries) can get untracked.
Whatever the case, Bears better warm up quick if they don’t want to miss their first ever Big 12 title and BCS game berth.