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Baylor Relishes Win Over Texas

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Baylor Relishes Win Over Texas

Baylor University defeated the Texas Longhorns 48-20 Saturday to improve to 2-2 and move into 3rd in DIA's Red River Conference.

It was yet another impressive result for Baylor, which almost beat Oklahoma three weeks ago. This season has been a good one for the Bears, but it has also bee difficult.

"It's certainly been a test of our depth this season," said Coach Mason Hering. "We've had several key guys out at various different times including this game where three regular starters were missing."

Starting openside flanker Andrew Honderich dislocated his ankle at Thursday night's training, and ten minutes into the game USA Rugby's D1A Player of the Week last week, Parker Vincent, broke his leg. So the Bears had much to adjust to.

"It speaks volumes of the guys grit to step up and have to play a position they're not familiar with," said Hering. "Still with those challenges, we've been able to pick up some quality conference wins and push Oklahoma to the wire in a near upset. I've asked the boys to adopt a next man-up mentality and they've all responded to that really well."

Early on in the game Texas pressured Baylor thanks to some Baylor penalties. Hering said his team's discipline was poor early on, but the defense held and Texas could only manage a penalty goal in 15 minutes of controlling the run of play.

Having survived that period, Baylor exploded for three tries in the second half of the first 40 minutes. Dan Robertson, playing his first match at scrumhalf, capped off some good work from the forwards. The pack continued to break through and go forward, with flanker Russell Scott, No. 8 Pete Hamm, and lock Walter Woodruff making meters. Woodruff scored two and Baylor led 19-3.

Texas exploited a Baylor yellow card for two tries to get back to 19-13. But once it was even strength again, the Bears got going. The midfield combination of freshman Stewart Morris and junior Jeffery Scott carved up the Texas backline and both scored to make it 33-13. Flyhafl Santiago Locamuz, who would end the day with 13 points, slotted a penalty, and then prop Nate Portz and Hamm added tries. Texas added one more try at the death to make it 48-20.

"We were really successful all match long with putting them on the back foot and getting quick ball from the ruck," said Hering. "We were able to break the gainline off the fringes pretty regularly and with that working well we were able to go wide frequently and play some running rugby. On defense we put a lot of pressure on their midfield and that lead to a lot of mistakes we were able to capitalize on. I'm really proud of the way the guys have responded to adversity this week. Losing two key starters to some serious leg injuries caused other guys to shift into some new positions and the team didn't skip a beat. We are starting to develop a team first mindset where guys will do anything it takes for the team to win."

This is Baylor's first win over Texas in some years, and the program's second-straight conference victory. 

"I've been telling the guys winning needs to become our standard and they are starting buy into that," said Hering. "We see ourselves as real players in the conference now and others are starting to see that too."