Shapen, Reese lead No. 17 Baylor to 42-7 win over Texas St

Shapen, Reese lead No. 17 Baylor to 42-7 win over Texas St

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By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen faked a handoff and took off untouched for a 35-yard touchdown run just before halftime, when Texas State thought it had a fourth-down stop, and the 17th-ranked Bears went on to a 42-7 victory Saturday.

True freshman Richard Reese ran 19 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears (2-1), who avoided becoming another Top 25 team to lose at home to a Sun Belt Conference team this season. Shapen completed 15 of 26 passes for 184 yards with a 28-yard TD to Gavin Holmes.

As defenders tackled Reese in the backfield on fourth-and-1, Shapen raced past a blitzing safety to cap a nine-play, 96-yard drive for a 21-7 lead. That came immediately after Texas State (1-2) had pulled within one score with 1:59 left in the half and the Bears were backed up to their own 4 after Craig Williams muffed the ensuing kickoff.

Baylor (2-1) jumped in front when Reese went straight up the middle for a 14-yard TD on the game’s opening drive. He added scores of 52 and 5 yards in the fourth quarter, giving him five rushing TDs in the Bears’ two home games.

Williams, a fifth-year junior nicknamed “Sqwirl” who was limited by injuries the past four seasons, had a 30-yard TD run.

Layne Hatcher threw for 186 yards with a 12-yard TD to Ashtyn Hawkins for Texas State, which lost 29-20 at home to then-unranked Baylor in last season’s opener. The punctuating play before halftime Saturday pretty much ended any possibility that the Bobcats could follow last weekend’s Sun Belt upsets — Appalachian State at Texas A&M, and Marshall over Notre Dame.

Williams’ TD run in the second quarter came on the first snap after Shapen returned to the field after having to sit out a play because his helmet came off when he was tackled in the open field. There was initially a targeting penalty on that tackle, but that was taken away after replay review, and backup quarterback Kyron Drones came on to throw a 10-yard pass.

THE TAKEAWAY

Texas State: Hatcher and Hawkins hooked up for a 29-yard play on the first play of the second half, but that drive ended with a lost fumble. The Bobcats, who are 0-10 against Top 25 opponents since becoming an FBS team in 2012, twice failed on fourth-down tries in the first half. After they converted on fourth down in the third quarter, their field goal attempt four plays later was blocked.

Baylor: It was a somewhat lethargic performance for the Bears, who kicked off just after 11 a.m. local time, a week after their double-overtime loss at No. 12 BYU ended after midnight in Utah and they didn’t get back to Waco until about sunrise Sunday. They finally took over after halftime and, even with a lost fumble and failed fourth-down conversion, closed out the lopsided victory.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Bears, who dropped nine spots last week after the BYU loss, should be in about the same spot in the new poll after winning a game they were supposed to win.

UP NEXT

Texas State: Hosts Houston Baptist in its last nonconference game next Saturday night.

Baylor: At Iowa State next Saturday for its Big 12 opener.

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