ARLINGTON AT&T Stadium, home of the five-time Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, was the site of the annual Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout between No. 5 Baylor and Texas Tech. After an early scare that saw Texas Tech leading Baylor by double digits, the Bears recovered for an impressive 63-34 victory.
While Baylor was technically the home team, the stadium was split with the Bears' green and gold covering the the south side with the Red Raiders fans enveloping the north side in red and black. The official attendance for the evening was 69,188, roughly 11,000 fewer than the LSU-TCU season opener and ahead of the 67,000 fans at the Notre Dame-Arizona St. game, both of which were played at AT&T Stadium. Out in the parking lots surrounding Jerry Jones' palace, the tailgate action was also split up with both universities well represented and confident in their respective teams prior to kickoff.
I spoke with several Texas Tech fans who reminded me that they were in the Top 10 a few weeks earlier and could salvage their season with a win over Baylor. A few of my old friends clad in their Red Raiders gear were all too quick to bring up the TCU game that occurred on my birthday and resulted in a Texas Tech 20-10 victory over the Horned Frogs.
On that note, I managed to find a few of my friends who had graduated from Baylor and they were excited for the team's chances to play in the BCS this year. Fortunately, there was no mention of the Bear's upcoming game against TCU, so I decided to hang out for a few minutes and enjoy some BBQ and the picture perfect 80-degree DFW November weather.
As for the game itself, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty took control and ensured the Bears perfect season would stay intact. He did have some help from freshman running back Shock Linwood who rushed for 187 yards and one touchdown and a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown by Levi Norwood.
"This is a special team," Petty said. "There's a lot of talent involved, but we work hard."
Good news on the BCS front came for Baylor as Stanford's loss to USC moved the Bears up to No. 4 in the rankings, a mere .0013 behind the third ranked Ohio St. Buckeyes in the BCS average.
Texas Tech (7-4) will try to rebound from four consecutive losses on Thanksgiving night at Texas. Up next for Baylor (9-0) is a trip to Stillwater to battle Oklahoma St. before a return to DFW to play TCU at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth on Nov. 30.
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