Charlie Brewer threw for 308 yards with three touchdowns and ran for a score as Baylor beat Texas Tech 35-24 in the regular season finale Saturday to get bowl eligible a year after winning only one game.
Brewer, who was 22-of-30 passing, put Baylor (6-6, 4-5 Big 12) ahead to stay with a 1-yard keeper less than two minutes into the second half.
The Red Raiders (5-7, 3-6) ended their third consecutive losing season with lingering questions about the future of coach Kliff Kingsbury, their former quarterback who is 35-40 in six seasons as head coach — 19-35 in Big 12 games. They lost their last five games.
After Tech had three consecutive incompletions on its first possession after halftime, the Bears drove for John Lovett’s 3-yard TD run that made it 28-17. Lovett ran 28 times for 125 yards.
Still-gimpy McLane Carter, making his first start at quarterback for Texas Tech since an ankle injury in the first half of the season opener, was 21-of-37 passing for 247 yards with two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the fourth quarter.
Carter was grimacing and walking gingerly after getting sacked on the opening drive on the game right before hitting Ja’Deion High for a 54-yard TD pass.
Soon after that, Carter left the field with a trainer but never missed a play after Baylor used more than 9 minutes on its opening 19-play drive that ended with the first of two TD catches by Denzel Mims.
True freshman Alan Bowman was the nation’s top passer early in the season after replacing Carter but is sidelined for the second time because of a partially deflated lung. Dual-threat Jett Duffey, who had 524 total yards in a near-upset of Texas two weeks ago, also missed the finale because of knee and foot issues.
Baylor: The Bears entered this season with 17 losses their previous 19 games. One of those wins in the Cactus Bowl two seasons ago to end a six-game losing streak. They bounced back from a disappointing 16-9 loss to TCU a week ago, when they were trying to get bowl eligible in the home finale for 10 fifth-year seniors who remained through a sexual assault scandal that rocked the school more than two years ago. Baylor was 1-11 in coach Matt Rhule’s debut last season.
Texas Tech: The last winning season for the Red Raiders was 7-6 in 2015, and their only other winning season under Kingsbury was 8-5 in his 2013 debut season that started with seven consecutive wins.
Baylor: Wait to find out what bowl game the Bears will play in.
Texas Tech: Season over, 2019 opener is Aug. 31 at home against Montana State.
Source: The Associated Press