Matters only got worse for the majority of Saturday’s game in Orlando, as UCF used a balanced offensive attack and a defensive score to take a 35–7 lead in the third quarter.
While most teams would have folded, Dave Aranda’s Bears did not. After UCF came out and scored on its first possession of the second half to take the 35–7 lead, Baylor slowly started chipping away.
First, it was a field goal to make it 35–10.
Then, it was a timely interception at the end of the third quarter of UCF quarterback Timmy McClain to keep its slim hopes of a comeback alive.
Baylor took advantage of the interception and went on a 10-play, 81-yard touchdown drive in just over three minutes, capped off by a Dawson Pendergrass six-yard rushing score. Bears quarterback Blake Shapen hit Ketron Jackson Jr. on a two-point conversion to make it 35–18 with just over 12 minutes to play.
Baylor forced a crucial three-and-out, and then scored in just over a minute, thanks to a Shapen touchdown pass to Monaray Baldwin. Another two-point conversion later and it was all of a sudden a nine-point game, 35–26.
For the first time all afternoon, it was UCF that was playing on its heels. However, Baylor was still down two possessions with under 10 minutes to play. UCF drove right down the field and looked poised to put the game away for good. Baylor needed a stop desperately to somehow stay alive.
Sure enough, for the second time in three drives, the Baylor defense came through. Bears defensive back Caden Jenkins scooped up a fumble on third-and-5 from the Baylor 25 and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown, making it a two-point game with six minutes to play.
UCF was forced once again to punt on the ensuing possession, and Baylor continued its offensive momentum, going on a nine-play 61-yard drive capped off by an Isaiah Hankins 25-yard field goal with 1:21 to play to give the Bears its first lead of the game, 36–35.
The Knights still had a fighting chance. UCF drove it into Baylor territory, thanks to this incredible fourth down conversion, but when the drive stalled with three seconds to play, kicker Colton Boomer was forced to attempt a 59-yard field goal to avoid the unbelievable collapse.
Boomer missed, and Baylor improbably (and unbelievably) moved to 2–3 on the season, saving Aranda from the hot seat (for now).
The 28-point comeback was the largest in program history, according to Sam Khan Jr. of The Athletic, capping off an unreal day of Big 12 football in Orlando.