WACO, Texas (AP) — Jalen Reagor turned a short pass into a 65-yard score and later had a 37-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-1 reverse run as TCU beat Baylor 16-9 on Saturday, keeping the Bears from reaching bowl eligibility in their home finale.
TCU (5-6, 3-5 Big 12), which had another starting quarterback get hurt, can get to a bowl for the 16th time in coach Gary Patterson’s 18 seasons with a win at home next Saturday against Oklahoma State.
“That was a gutsy win,” Patterson said. “Want to know what kind of heart and what this program is about, you just need to watch that ball game. There wasn’t any reason why we should have won.”
Fifth-year senior Grayson Muehlstein had completed only one pass in his seven career games for TCU before starter Michael Collins left the game with a right ankle injury late in the first quarter. That was just another injury in a long list for the Frogs, who have had at least 36 players miss much or all of the season.
Muehlstein was 11-of-15 for 137 yards and the TD to the speedy Reagor, who matched a school record with a TD catch in six consecutive games.
“All I had to do was throw a quick little short pass, and he did all the rest,” Muehlstein said.
Charlie Brewer threw for 163 yards and had a 7-yard TD run when he leaped over one of his blockers for Baylor (5-6, 3-5). But Brewer also had one of the two Bears fumbles that led to TCU points.
“As I told our seniors I thought it was a game we had every opportunity to win,” Bears coach Matt Rhule said. “I know how badly our team wanted to win for our seniors and to be able to send them off the right way.”
Reagor got the go-ahead score with 2 minutes left in the third quarter when third-string running back Emari Demercado took a direct snap, started right and then flipped to Reagor sweeping the other way. Reagor had a wide-open lane to the end zone.
Brewer’s fumble recovered by Corey Bethley on the first play of the second quarter set up the Reagor TD catch. Brewer had ended the first quarter with consecutive runs of 15 and 11 yards, the first converting fourth-and-11.
Reagor made a catch near the line of scrimmage, briefly reversed backward and then spun away from a defender. He sprinted down the left sideline for a 65-yard TD and a 9-6 lead upheld on a replay review after he almost got knocked out of bounds inside the 5.
Baylor running back John Lovett fumbled on the second play of the game, setting up Jonathan Song’s 29-yard field goal.
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