With less than 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter Saturday night, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty threw an interception – which TCU’s Marcus Mallet promptly returned 49 yards for a touchdown.
Mallet’s score gave TCU a 58-37 lead, and Baylor was well on its way to losing its first game of the season. What did Petty say to his teammates in that moment?
“To be honest, I looked at them and I was like, ‘Man, we’re going to get this ball back, we’re going to go down there and score and we’re going to win this game,’” Petty recalled on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “As crazy as that sounds, they looked at me like, ‘I know.’ The character of this team, the mentality of this team, is so great to be a part of because it’s always supportive; it’s always positive. We don’t get down on each other. We really know that we’re always just one play away. That’s the greatest part about this team – that never-quit attitude.”
What followed was 11 minutes and 38 seconds of pure madness. Baylor scored 24 unanswered points, including a 28-yard field goal as time expired, to win 61-58.
The most important of those 24 points may have been the first seven, as Baylor scored 59 seconds after the pick-six.
“It was huge for us,” Petty said of Devin Chafin’s 7-yard run. “That was all the momentum we needed. At that point, we knew that (we had them). That was huge for us. A big momentum swing.”
Petty followed that with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Antwan Goodley and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Corey Coleman to tie it at 58. Baylor then stopped TCU on fourth down near midfield, as the Horned Frogs elected not to punt.
“All we wanted was the ball back,” Petty explained. “We didn’t care where we got it, when we got it. We just wanted the ball back. Defense came up huge – just like they did the three drives prior to that. Those guys came up huge.”
Baylor drove 44 yards in just over a minute to set up Chris Callahan’s kick. Callahan, a freshman, entered the game 1-for-6 on the season but went 4-for-4 on the night, converting all four tries from inside 40 yards.
“Our motto – even though we have a great kicker – is we never want to leave it (up) to our (kicker),” Petty said. “We ended up having to and he came through in a huge way. But we want to score. We’re on offense. We want to score. We’re not here to play it safe. We’re here to be aggressive and go after it. It worked out for us.”
Petty, who finished 28-of-55 for 510 yards and six touchdowns, was confident Baylor would come back and win.
“That’s what you got to be,” he said. “You got to be confident with what you’re doing and your execution. We had success through the air that game and our receivers were hot. So you get the play call, you trust in it and you go after it. I think that we’re a resilient team. I don’t think you can ever count us out.”
Baylor (6-0, 3-0) improved from fifth to fourth in this week’s AP Poll and plays at West Virginia (4-2, 2-1) this Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.
Petty, meanwhile, remains in the Heisman Trophy race – even if he’s not paying too much attention to it.
“I would much rather at the end of the year have a national championship ring than a Heisman Trophy, any day of the week,” Petty said. “Because that’s truly what football is – a team game. Even if I get to the point where I’m in New York, it’s only because of those guys around me.”