2011 Alamo Bowl Recap
Baylor Bears vs Washington Huskies - Baylor 67, Washington 56
Let’s recap Thursday night’s basketball game between the Baylor Bears and the Washington Huskies. Baylor scored 24 first-half points but then started to shoot the ball better in the second half, en route to 43 points and a double-digit win over Washington, which scored 35 points in the first half but cooled off after halftime.
Wait a minute – this was a football game? Yes, yes it was. In one of the zaniest bowl games ever – and easily the most prolific in terms of yardage gained – the Bears outraced the Huskies on a night that viewers will not soon forget.
Other bowl games have topped 100 total points, but Washington and Baylor set the record for the most combined points scored in regulation time. The 2001 GMAC Bowl – won by Marshall over East Carolina, 64-61 – totaled 125 points but needed two overtime stanzas to do so. Washington and Baylor racked up 123 points in 60 minutes (technically, 57 minutes and 32 seconds; the final score of the night at the Alamodome in San Antonio came with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter), shredding the college football record book thanks to numbers that are impossible to digest in one sitting.
Washington’s offense maxed out on Thursday. Head coach Steve Sarkisian fully exploited Baylor’s porous defense to the tune of 56 points, 620 total yards, and 438 passing yards by dynamic quarterback Keith Price, who flatly outplayed Baylor’s Heisman Trophy-winning signal caller, Robert Griffin III. Washington unloaded a 28-point second quarter on Baylor to take a 35-24 halftime lead. The Huskies slowed down the pace of their offense in the second half in order to give their overwhelmed defense a rest, and even then, UW still managed to score with appreciable regularity. A six-minute, 18-second touchdown drive gave Washington a 56-53 lead with 9:40 left, giving the visitors from Seattle the belief that with just a handful of defensive plays, they could pull off a shocker in the Lone Star State. Nothing about Washington’s offense suggested that the Huskies would lose this game; they just needed the smallest pinch of defensive support in order to accomplish their mission.
No – even two or three good defensive plays was an excessive and unrealistic expectation of a defense in this kind of Wild West shootout. Baylor scored just 85 seconds after Washington’s touchdown to take a 60-56 lead (you read that score correctly) with 8:15 left in regulation, and then added that tack-on touchdown at the 2:28 mark to put the Huskies away. The truth of the matter was staggering: Washington’s 56 points and 620 yards gave the Huskies nothing more than an 11-point loss. Baylor, you see, accumulated 777 total yards, 482 on the ground. Of those 482 rushing yards, 200 went to running back Terrance Ganaway, who gashed Washington for five touchdowns on the evening. Baylor might have given up 28 points in the second quarter, but it scored 29 in the third to restore the advantage it gained in the first quarter. Griffin wasn’t bad in his own right – Price might have outplayed him, but the Heisman winner hit 24 of 33 passes (a completion percentage of just over 72) for 295 yards and a touchdown. Baylor’s offense did what was needed to win on a night when Washington’s offense was darn-near unstoppable.
That’s the kind of night it was when a basketball score broke out in a football game that won’t soon leave the public memory.
By: Matt Zemek
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