Kansas coach Turner Gill talks after his team's 31-30 overtime loss to Baylor on Nov. 12, 2011.
Chants of “Bowl game! Bowl Game!” filled Baylor’s football locker room after the Bears’ 31-30 overtime victory over Kansas on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
“Unbelievable ... that may be best locker room I’ve ever been in. I know I’m sore in places that I have not moved in a while. That’s going to catch up with me tomorrow,” BU coach Art Briles said with a smile.
“It’s all worth it. I loosened some joints that hadn’t been loosened in a while.”
Briles and the Bears were popping pads while jumping for joy after erasing a 24-3 fourth-quarter deficit, improving to 6-3 overall (3-3 in Big 12) and becoming bowl-eligible.
It’s the first time BU has been bowl-eligible in consecutive years since 1991-92.
“I don’t know if you heard the locker room, but it was huge. We’re going bowling,” junior quarterback Robert Griffin III exclaimed after completing 22 of 29 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He also rushed for 103 yards off 10 carries and scored one TD in directing BU to the school’s largest fourth-quarter comeback in program history.
“We plan to keep on doing this year after year,” he added of heading to bowls.
Griffin dashed 49 yards to cut a 21-point deficit to 24-10 with 11:45 left. He threw a 36-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams to slice the gap to 24-17 with 7:58 remaining. After that, he heaved what later was called a “duck” to Tevin Reese for 67 yards to tie it with 3:32 to play.
“That was the best worst pass I’ve ever thrown in my life,” Griffin said. “I threw it as hard as I possibly could because of the wind (in his face). I couldn’t cut it today a few times. He did a good job of adjusting to it.”
“The wind was blowing a little bit hard here. When you see the green, you’ve got to run fast,” explained Reese, who had a nice run after the catch.
Griffin connected with Reese again — for a 14-yard score — to open the overtime session.
KU answered via a 25-yard TD strike from Jordan Webb to Tim Biere. Going for two points and the victory, KU called a lob pass to Biere — which was busted up by sophomore corner Joe Williams.
“We see that play many times in practice. Every other team we’ve played ran that play. When they lined up in it, I knew it was coming,” said Williams, who received help from safety Mike Hicks. “I was going for the one-hand pick.”
Coach Briles took off his headphones for the final play of the day.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s either good or bad. All the talking, planning is over, this is it,’’’ Briles said, obviously happy with the result.
“It didn’t surprise me,” Briles added of KU going for the victory. “The situation they are in now ... they are fighting hard to get a Big 12 win. They felt we had a little momentum. That’s a good way to squelch it: ‘Let’s do it and get it over with. Let’s get that win.’ That’s what they’re thinking.”
All’s well that ended well for Baylor.
“I was nervous when the ball was in the air. It seemed like the ball was in the air forever. I looked up and it was sailing. Once it hit the ground ... man,” exclaimed linebacker Elliot Coffey.
“That’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, hands down,” he added of the celebration in the locker room. “The way this game played out and ended, it made it one of the best times of my life.”