The Baylor Bears went to play Duke as a laughingstock after losing two games at home. Losing two games at home to Liberty and UTSA.
Baylor returns from Duke with a 34-20 loss Saturday in which the Bears fought back to trail 24-21 in a game which the defense played a stout first half.
The bad news is that the Big 12 schedule now starts for the Bears, leading off with Oklahoma.
Baylor quarterback Zach Smith, back as the starter after showing promise a season ago, connected with Chris Platt on a 79-yard touchdown pass with 5 seconds left in the third quarter.
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But Smith threw an interception early in the fourth quarter that was returned 22 yards for a touchdown by Ben Humphreys and a 31-20 lead.
A Duke field goal with 4:57 left made it 34-20.
Smith’s pick-6 was thrown directly to the Dookie, and was Smith’s third INT of the game.
He produced early — a 44 yard touchdown pass seconds into the game — but he took away Baylor’s shot at a victory.
More kudos for the Bears:
Defense has given up three explosive TD plays and slapped Duke around apart from that. Good effort through three quarters.— S11 (@Baylor_S11) September 16, 2017
But some of the play calls were questioned.
Baylor's O-line has been bullied by the Duke front all day, so you send a 240-pound tailback up the middle? Pitiful.— Matt Mosley (@mattmosley) September 16, 2017
At the half, Baylor trailed 14-7, which was pretty good, but still pretty bad, stat-wise. Zach Smith was 6 of 19 for 84 yards.
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After the finish, reality set in of what’s ahead. The easy part of the schedule is done.
Baylor, down 14 at Duke, is headed for 0-3. Reminder: Oklahoma, at Kansas State, at Oklahoma State, West Virginia are up next for the Bears.— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) September 16, 2017
Baylor done hit rock bottom losing to a Basketball school. ♂️ Can't believe Duke just beat them. Why're they even On the schedule???— jr. (@suaveruss_) September 16, 2017
Now you’re thinking (hoping, if you’re a TCU fan), where will a Baylor victory come from this season?
And the Bears have to play at Kansas, another basketball school.
BAY—Mims 44 pass from Z.Smith (Martin kick), 14:28
DUK—S.Wilson 50 run (Parker kick), 13:36
DUK—B.Brown 34 run (Parker kick), 14:21
DUK—S.Wilson 65 run (Parker kick), 12:12
BAY—Platt 73 pass from Z.Smith (Martin kick), 11:30
DUK—FG Parker 45, 5:09
BAY—Platt 79 pass from Z.Smith (kick failed), :05
DUK—Humphreys 22 interception return (Parker kick), 11:31
DUK—FG Parker 26, 4:57
Time of Possession
RUSHING—Baylor, Dixon 9-28, Lovett 9-21, Z.Smith 7-10, Blackmar 0-0, B.Lynch 1-(minus 1), Platt 1-(minus 1). Duke, S.Wilson 18-176, B.Brown 18-86, Q.Harris 2-2, Brandner 0-0, (Team) 2-(minus 4), D.Jones 11-(minus 14).
PASSING—Baylor, Z.Smith 12-34-3-263. Duke, D.Jones 20-35-1-193.
RECEIVING—Baylor, Platt 4-148, Nicholson 3-29, Mims 2-67, Sneed 1-11, Ebner 1-6, Stricklin 1-2. Duke, S.Wilson 5-32, B.Brown 4-71, Rahming 4-38, Lloyd 3-26, Koppenhaver 1-8, C.Taylor 1-8, Q.Chambers 1-7, Bracey 1-3.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Duke, Parker 33.