In what is easily the biggest comeback win of the college football season, the Baylor Bears rallied to defeat Central Florida 36-35 on Saturday.
UCF hosted Baylor for their first home game in the Big 12, and Baylor had been one of the most disappointing teams in the conference. It was supposed to be a celebration of UCF joining the Big 12 and playing Power 5 football as UCF was up 35-7 with eight minutes left in the third quarter and looked to be cruising to their first Big 12 win.
It didn't look like Baylor was going to come back given how they had performed so far this season. The Bears were 1-3 on the year and down 28 on the road as their quarterback Blake Shapen battled through injury. That was before Baylor scored on five straight drives (including a fumble return for a touchdown) and took the lead with 1:21 left in the game on a 25-yard field goal from Isaiah Hankins to make it 36-35.
The end of the game wasn't without some drama as UCF got the ball back. Golden Knights quarterback Timmy McClain had to scramble around on 4th down to keep the drive alive and converted on a crazy throw. They got to the Baylor 42-yard line with 11 seconds left and attempted a heave to the end zone but it fell incomplete. UCF kicker Colton Boomer attempted a 59-yard field goal to win the game, but it was no good.
UCF WHAT A FOURTH DOWN CONVERSION!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/fS8qZHMDgE
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthew_CFB) September 30, 2023
Baylor completed the largest comeback in school history to improve to 2-3 on the year and 1-1 in conference play.
— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) September 30, 2023
Blake Shapen finished 21-for-34 with 293 yards and two total touchdowns while running back Richard Reese had 100 rushing yards on 16 carries. UCF quarterback Timmy McClain was 13-for-25 for 234 yards three total touchdowns and one interception. UCF falls to 0-2 in Big 12 play and is off to a rough start as a new conference member. Baylor hosts Texas Tech next weekend while UCF travels to Kansas.
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