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Baylor feels it missed an opportunity

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The Grand Island Independent
Posted Oct 25, 2008 @ 11:40 PM
Last update Oct 26, 2008 @ 01:16 AM

LINCOLN —

Baylor intended to prove that this isn't your older brother's bad news Bears against Nebraska on Saturday.

The Bears -- who had one win in 10 career meetings with the Huskers -- felt good about their odds of leaving Memorial Stadium with a win after they took a 20-17 halftime lead.

It didn't happen.

Baylor was shut out in the second half and fell to 3-5 this season with a 32-20 setback.

"It obviously hurts," safety Jordan Lake said. "There's no words to explain it. We thought we were in a good position to get a chance to win the game at halftime, and as a defense if we don't let them score then we win.

"So it was pretty deflating to come out and let them come down like that and take the lead and continue to work their way down the field on us. It's not something we looked forward to."

Even a close call after coming in with a 1-6 record with four shutout losses at Memorial Stadium wasn't a moral victory for the Bears.

"It's real tough because we came down here to win, and to come back with anything less is a disappointment," running back Jay Finley.

Baylor piled up 234 yards on 26 plays in the first half. But that success dried up after halftime, and the Bears only got 116 yards and no more points.

"We couldn't convert on our third downs," Finley said. "We had a couple big third downs we needed to convert on, but we just didn't make it. When we didn't do it they came down and made a couple big plays and it hurt us."

Baylor coach Art Briles felt coming up empty on a possession early in the third quarter hurt his team. Still leading by three, the Bears had a first-and-goal at the 7-yard line but saw a 19-yard field goal try bounce off the left upright.

"Of course the game is full of momentum swings," Briles said. "That was huge. That's one where I've got to do a better job of play selection and we've got to get points out of the deal.

"We end up with no points because the field goal hit the upright but a touchdown certainly would have been better. We had a speed option called (on third down from the 1), so (quarterback Robert Griffin) had the choice to keep it or deal it and Robert saw a little crease, thought he could get in there and get after it. They did a good job of routing to him."

Baylor never had as good a scoring chance the rest of the game.

"I think it was a big momentum boost," Briles said. "That was our second drive of the second half. We felt like we were executing well, making some plays. To get down there and stalemate, it stings you a little bit, but you've got to understand there's going to be good and bad series and you've got to overcome the bad ones."

The second half was a stark turnaround from the first which saw Griffin rush for 99 yards in the first quarter and then pass for 72 in the second.

"I just think we came ready to play," Briles said. "Our guys are fighters and they've got a lot of belief. We felt like we were going to come up here and win the football game. We wouldn't have come up if we didn't feel that way.

"That probably was the reason things happened that way (in the first half). We were clicking in the second half. We get the second drive in and go up 10 points or whatever it would've been, and next thing you know we've got a pretty good feeling on the sideline. I think, conversely, they took it down and scored. You can't do that. That's a bad change of events on both sides of the ball.”

E-mail Dale Miller

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