WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty broke into the open with the end zone in front of him.
Petty and the No. 6 Bears weren’t about to be tripped up by Oklahoma State again.
After throwing touchdowns on Baylor’s first two drives that took a minute combined, Petty ran 21 yards for the final score as the playoff-contending Bears won 49-28. They avenged their only regular-season loss of a year ago, a game in which Petty inexplicably tripped at the 1 with a clear path to the end zone.
“Redemption,” Petty said. “To have it go down in that fashion and me be able to get in the open field again, I don’t know if it takes away the trip. … It makes my mind ease up a little bit.”
Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP) won its 15th consecutive home game on a dreary and rainy night along the banks of the Brazos River, staying in a three-way tie with No. 5 TCU and No. 12 Kansas State for the Big 12 lead with two games left.
A year ago, Baylor was No. 3 in the country and undefeated through nine games when Petty fell short of the end zone when the game was still scoreless. The Bears then fumbled and the Cowboys drove 99 yards for their first score in a 49-17 thumping that took Baylor out of the national championship picture even as it still won its first Big 12 title.
“I was glad that he got that last touchdown,” coach Art Briles said. “To me, that was kind of justification for about 11 1/2 months ago.”
Devin Chafin ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns, while Shock Linwood had 113 yards rushing with a score for Baylor, whose home winning streak matches No. 2 Alabama for the longest in the country. Corey Coleman extended his nation’s best streak with a TD catch in his seventh consecutive game.
While rain fell for several hours before kickoff and during much of the game, there was a break in the weather at the start. The Bears took full advantage.
Petty completed 18 of 29 passes for 262 yards, 149 of those coming on the opening two drives — the first lasting 36 seconds and the other 25 seconds. Petty hit Jay Lee in stride for a 65-yard TD on the second play of the game and Coleman made an over-the-shoulder grab for a 54-yard score.
“We felt like we had to get it while we could,” Briles said. “Be real aggressive while the ball was dry and try to get points on the board because we felt rain was coming.”
Oklahoma State (5-6, 3-5) has lost five games in a row. That is its longest losing streak since also losing five in a row during Mike Gundy’s first season as head coach in 2005, and the last time the Cowboys didn’t go to a bowl game.
Highly touted freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph was 13-of-25 passing for 281 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his debut for the Cowboys, who have to win at No. 23 Oklahoma in two weeks to get to their ninth straight bowl game.
“Looks like he played OK. He made some mistakes,” Gundy said. “He had a couple of poor throws. Obviously, he made a mistake there at the end on the interception.”
Rudolph started in place of Daxx Garman, who was in uniform and wearing a baseball cap on the sideline. Gundy gave no explanation for the switch, and the decision that took the redshirt off of the quarterback who finished Northwest High School in Rock Hill, South Carolina, early and enrolled at Oklahoma State last spring.
Baylor led 42-14 when Chafin scored on a 1-yard run with 14:21 left.
But Rudolph threw a 68-yard touchdown to James Washington, whose 38-yard grab on the next drive set up a 2-yard TD run by Rennie Childs. The Cowboys were driving again when Rudolph’s pass was intercepted by Orion Stewart to set up Petty’s TD run with 3 minutes left.
“That’s a point in the game where we’ve got to score, put this thing away,” Petty said. “Orion made a fabulous pick. We needed to feed off that.”
Five teams ranked ahead of Baylor in the College Football Playoff rankings played and won Saturday. The only higher-ranked team idle was TCU, whose only loss was at Baylor six weeks ago after blowing a 21-point lead in the final 11 minutes.
The Bears play Texas Tech at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium next weekend. Their regular-season finale is at home Dec. 6 against Kansas State.
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