ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Everything was kind of blurry when Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty first opened his eyes.
After taking a high hit and being diagnosed with a mild concussion midway through the third quarter, all Petty could do was watch from the sideline as the fifth-ranked Bears held on for a 48-46 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday that made only one thing clear for the playoff contenders.
“It was a little too exciting,” Petty said.
The Bears (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP) are guaranteed at least a share of their second consecutive conference title if they win their regular-season finale at home against No. 11 Kansas State (9-2, 7-1) next Saturday.
As for their playoff chances after blowing nearly all of a 25-point lead against a losing team, those are far more uncertain.
“We’ve got to beat Kansas State. It’s hard to repeat as champions,” coach Art Briles said. “If you do it, that hat you’re wearing needs to have a feather.”
While there will be some changes in the new College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night after No. 4 Mississippi State’s loss, Baylor was already two spots behind another Big 12 co-leader in TCU. The Horned Frogs are coming off an impressive 48-10 Thanksgiving night romp at Texas.
Patrick Mahomes set a Big 12 freshman record with his 598 yards on 30 of 56 passing that included six touchdowns for the Red Raiders (4-8, 2-7), the last a 40-yarder to Bradley Marquez with 1:42 left before he was under heavy pressure and sacked on a two-point try.
Texas Tech then tried an onside kick that was recovered by Shock Linwood, who ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns to give the Bears a 1,000-yard rusher for the fifth consecutive season.
Petty, who was 18 of 25 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns, was hurt after being hit by linebacker Sam Eguavoen, who was penalized for a personal foul. Petty remained down for several minutes before getting up and walking slowly to the sideline and then going to the locker room. He returned before the end of the quarter, still in uniform but without shoulder pads or his helmet.
“I feel good. … On the field, it was a little muddy there. It’s a new day and age now, where I guess they get upset about a few dingers and blurred vision,” said Petty, adding he’ll definitely play against K-State. “Just a little dinger, I’ll be all right.”
Seth Russell took over for Petty, and six plays later threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Levi Norwood to make it 42-17. Russell, who started when Petty had a back injury early in the season, was 8 of 17 for 82 yards and ran seven times for 29 yards.
The teams then traded field goals before Texas Tech scored 20 unanswered points, on three TD passes of at least 40 yards by Mahomes.
After 1,000-yard rusher DeAndre Washington turned a short pass into a 49-yard TD with 8:13 left, the Red Raiders were within 45-40 after a failed two-point try.
“I’m not sure if it was a game or a war, quite honestly,” Briles said. “A desperate man is a dangerous man, and we were dealing with a desperate man tonight. … We got a big win on a big stage. And we set ourselves up to have a chance next weekend to do something pretty special.”
After Washington’s TD catch, Baylor went 56 yards on 13 plays for Chris Callahan’s 36-yard field goal that proved to be the difference.
The Bears have won four straight games in the series played at the Dallas Cowboys’ NFL stadium. This one turned into the expected shootout even though it was only 7-0 after the first quarter on Linwood’s 8-yard run.
After combining to average nearly 101 points and 1,145 total yards per game the last three years, they had 94 points and 1,259 yards this time. Texas Tech rolled up 712 yards, and Baylor had 547.
The Red Raiders had three 100-yard receivers for the first time since 2005 — Marquez (six catches, 130 yards, three TDs), Washington (six, 107, one) and Jakeem Grant (five, 155, one). Washington, Tech’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 1998, also had 65 yards rushing on 15 carries.
But they had 11 penalties for 125 yards, including two that led to a first-and-30 play before its last touchdown. There were three consecutive fumbles inside Baylor territory in the first quarter.
“I have been happy with the effort since we basically lost out on bowl eligibility,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “We’re just not very disciplined. That’s the biggest thing I take away from this whole year, and that’s on me.”
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