Baylor’s Dru Dixon carries the ball as Duke’s Alonzo Saxton II (21) and Joe Giles-Harris , right, try to tackle him during an NCAA college football game, Saturday , Sept. 16, 2017, in Durham, N.C. Bernard Thomas The Herald-Sun via AP
Baylor’s Dru Dixon carries the ball as Duke’s Alonzo Saxton II (21) and Joe Giles-Harris , right, try to tackle him during an NCAA college football game, Saturday , Sept. 16, 2017, in Durham, N.C. Bernard Thomas The Herald-Sun via AP

Baylor Bears

Baylor falls to 0-3 despite gritty effort at Duke. And now the hard part

By Vince Langford

vlangford@star-telegram.com

September 16, 2017 03:19 PM

UPDATED September 17, 2017 01:39 AM

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.

#Baylor lost to Liberty at home, lost to UTSA at home, and are hanging with Duke on the road... pic.twitter.com/stuqUwwaqG

— LandGrant Gauntlet (@the_LGG) September 16, 2017

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.

Duke 14, Baylor 7 at the half and it hasn’t exactly been a thing of beauty either way. pic.twitter.com/RLm6tZGIQO

— Joedy McCreary (@JoedyAP) September 16, 2017

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.

Baylor

7

0

13

0

20

Duke

7

7

10

10

34

First Quarter

BAY—Mims 44 pass from Z.Smith (Martin kick), 14:28

DUK—S.Wilson 50 run (Parker kick), 13:36

Second Quarter

DUK—B.Brown 34 run (Parker kick), 14:21

Third Quarter

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

Fourth Quarter

DUK—Humphreys 22 interception return (Parker kick), 11:31

DUK—FG Parker 26, 4:57

A—26,714.

BAY

DUK

First downs

9

25

Rushes-yards

27-57

51-246

Passing

263

193

Comp-Att-Int

12-34-3

20-35-1

Return Yards

13

51

Punts-Avg.

7-53.14

8-33.37

Fumbles-Lost

2-1

2-1

Penalties-Yards

11-100

5-63

Time of Possession

21:03

38:57

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

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.