It was clear from the get-go that both offenses came to play. In a related story, the defenses didn’t.
Baylor beat Vanderbilt 45-38 in the Texas Bowl Thursday night from Houston’s NRG Stadium.
The Bears rolled up 677 total yards on offense, picked up 30 first downs and finished the night an impressive 5-5 on fourth down attempts. Baylor’s bad kicking game was motivation enough for the Bears to be aggressive on fourth down, while Vanderbilt’s defense wasn’t too interested in stopping or tackling anyone all night really.
To put it lightly, the Dores defense and tackling was atrocious.
Vanderbilt’s running backs dominated the first half, as Khari Blasingame scored on a 65-yard TD reception. RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn scored on runs from 68 and 69 in the first half alone.
The electrifying Vaughn finished with a ridiculous 243 rushing yards and two TDs on 13 carries. That’s the most in Texas Bowl history and the most for any SEC player in 2018.
A major key to Baylor’s win was the momentum capturing final minutes just before halftime and right after it. Vanderbilt made a field goal to extend its first half lead, but holding was called on the play. Vanderbilt retried the attempt after the 10-yard penalty and missed it. Following halftime, the Commodores’ woeful defense showed up again, as the Dores missed three tackles on an ensuing Baylor TD run. It was a snapshot of the Commodores struggles.
Leading the charge, Baylor QB Charlie Brewer rushed for 109 yards and one TD, including averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Brewer also threw for 384 yards and two TDs against the Dores’ defense.
Vanderbilt’s tackling all game was very poor, and yards after contact for the Bears was a major difference.
The Commodores finished the season 6-7, and the SEC starts out bowl season 0-1.