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Baylor notebook: Baylor seniors devastated by loss

From the Baylor vs. TCU coverage series
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Baylor running back Craig Williams, who rushed for 112 yards, was among 25 seniors honored before Saturday's game at McLane Stadium.

A whopping 25 Baylor seniors were honored before their final game at McLane Stadium on Saturday in fourth-ranked TCU’s 29-28 victory, including notable players like linebacker Dillon Doyle, receiver Gavin Holmes, tight end Ben Sims, running back Craig “Sqwirl” Williams and kicker John Mayers.

Fourth-year junior noseguard Siaki “Apu” Ika was included among the seniors since he has already agreed to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

They only wish they could have walked away with a win.

“It hurts, you know,” said Baylor redshirt freshman safety Devin Lemear. “It’s the seniors’ last game, and the season has been what it is. You want to send them off on the right note and it hurts to fall short, especially after so much preparation.”

TCU takes control in series

The Baylor-TCU series has been remarkably close ever since the first game in 1899 when both schools were located in Waco.

But the Horned Frogs have had the Bears’ number lately by winning seven of the last eight games following Saturday’s 29-28 thriller.

“You know, it’s really hard to see it go that way,” said Baylor running back Craig Williams. “Great game plan, guys went out there and gave it their all. For it to end that way is really hard. We have a lot of guys on our team that I felt really deserved to walk out of here as winners today. For it to end that way, it really hurts.”

The Horned Frogs lead the series 58-53-7 with the Bears last win coming in Fort Worth in 2019 in a 29-23 triple-overtime decision.

Several professional alums join BU crowd

It wasn’t homecoming, but several famous Bears made their way back home for the Baylor-TCU clash.

Among the former Baylor athletes in attendance for this one were Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, DC Defenders running back Abram Smith and Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Max Muncy.

Howard is in his sevent season with the Dolphins and has made three Pro Bowls. Smith signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent in May before being cut in August, but was just selected this week by the Defenders as the No. 1 overall pick in the XFL Draft.

Muncy is a two-time All-Star who hit 21 home runs and drove in 69 runs in the 2022 season for the Dodgers.

Have you warmed up yet, Baylor fans?

The fans who filled McLane Stadium on Saturday gave off a decidedly chilled-out vibe.

That’s because it was cold, man.

The game-time temperature of 39 degrees marked the coldest temperature at kickoff in McLane Stadium history. It was also Baylor’s coldest opening kickoff temperature since the 2013 regular-season finale against Texas.

Baylor fans will remember that one for a variety of reasons, as it produced a 30-10 win over the Longhorns that clinched the program’s first Big 12 championship. It also marked the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium, as Baylor celebrated with a postgame turning-off-the-lights ceremony.

But, mostly, they’ll remember it because a lot of them haven’t thawed out since.

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Sportswriter at the Tribune-Herald since 1982. When days free up in the summers, I head to the mountains, the desert, rivers & lakes. Places where God’s grandeur overwhelms you. Places best explored by foot, all day and sometimes for several days.

A lifelong rider of the Houston sports bandwagon and a lifelong hater of vegetables, Brice Cherry has been named the Texas AP sportswriter of the year several times during his Trib career, which began in 1998. He has been sports editor since 2012.

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