Baylor outlasts TCU to keep Big 12 title hopes alive
Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Bryce Petty had two touchdown passes and No. 9 Baylor returned two interceptions for touchdowns Saturday in a 41-38 win over TCU.
TCU's Casey Pachall was picked off a third time in the end zone in the final seconds as Baylor held on for the win a week after its school-record 13-game winning streak was snapped in a 49-17 loss to Oklahoma State.
Perry completed just 19 of his 38 throws for 206 yards but threw touchdown passes to Clay Fuller and Levi Norwood and also ran for a score.
The Bears (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) scored 21 straight points off turnovers to squash some TCU momentum in the first half, including an 82-yard interception return by Orion Stewart and a 54-yard pick-six by Eddie Lackey.
Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas are all 7-1 in the Big 12. Baylor finishes the regular season at home against Texas next Saturday and Oklahoma State plays Oklahoma after a bye week.
Pachall was 20-of-45 for 267 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and had a rushing touchdown for the Horned Frogs (4-8, 2-7), who finished the season with losses in five of their last six games.
"Everybody had a great game," said Pachall. "It came down to my three interceptions."
LaDarius Brown, Josh Doctson and David Porter each had touchdown receptions in the loss -- Brown from Trevone Boykin -- and B.J. Catalon rushed for 93 yards.
TCU suffered its first losing season since 2004, which was also the last time it didn't make a bowl game.
With 41 points, Baylor dropped just below Army's NCAA record of 56 points per game set in 1944 but remained on pace to break the Big 12 record established by Oklahoma in 2008 and the school mark set in 2011.
Aided by a pass interference penalty, TCU drove from its 27-yard line to Baylor's 23, but Pachall's pass to Brandon Carter near the goal line was tipped by Sam Holl and intercepted by Terrell Burt in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining to seal the win for Baylor.
TCU coach Gary Patterson said the team could have kicked a field goal to tie the game, "but we wanted to take one shot to win it."
"Wouldn't do it any other way," said Patterson. "The ball bounces one way, and the game is over. That pretty much sums it up."
Baylor's 21 straight points off three TCU turnovers spanned the second and third quarters and gave the Bears a 34-17 lead, though the Horned Frogs battled back.
First, with the Frogs backed up, Catalon ran into the butt of TCU lineman James Dunbar and fumbled. It was recovered by Beau Blackshear at the TCU 1- yard line and Petty scored on a first-down run with 3:47 left in the half.
Then, Pachall was hit on a pass that was picked off by Stewart and taken down the right sideline for a 13-point lead with 31 seconds remaining before the break.
After halftime, Lackey jumped a slot route and returned his pick untouched for a 34-17 Baylor lead two minutes into the third quarter.
Pachall and the Frogs rallied. The quarterback ended the ensuing drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to cut into the deficit, and after a Baylor punt, he and Doctson connected on a 16-yard touchdown pass to get TCU within 34-31 with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
The Bears offense hadn't truly put together a touchdown drive since the first quarter until Norwood caught Petty's pass down the left side and slipped inside the pylon for a 33-yard touchdown catch to make it 41-31 Baylor.
Bears coach Art Briles, whose brother, Eddie, died this week after a fall, called the TCU defense "just phenomenal."
"We felt like TCU has played the best they played all year," said Briles. "They have always done a good job defensively and they got a lot on offense. We knew we'd catch them after being on the road for two weeks, coming back here for their senior night and our guys overcame it."
TCU punted, but got the ball back after Sam Carter intercepted Petty. That set up Pachall's 22-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open David Porter on the left side to get the Frogs within 41-38 just seconds into the fourth quarter.
Aaron Jones, who kicked two earlier field goals for Baylor, was wide-left on a 32-yard try with 7:31 remaining in the game, but TCU turned the ball over on downs with 3:10 left when a pass play came up a few yards short.
Earlier, after Baylor's 17-play opening drive ended in Jones' 30-yard field goal, Jaden Oberkrom's 26-yarder tied the game at 3-3.
Fuller, the 26-year-old junior wide receiver, laid out for a diving 18-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone on Baylor's next possession and Jones kicked a 47-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter for a 13-3 lead.
TCU replied with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jordan Moore and then -- one play after Cameron Echols-Luper's 42-yard punt return -- took a 17-13 lead when Boykin found Brown open in the back of the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown.
Lache Seastrunk rushed for a game-high 94 yards on 24 carries for Baylor ... The all-time series is tied 51-51-7. TCU had earned the series lead last year with a 49-21 victory in Waco.
11/30 21:26:40 ET