FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Baylor Bears put a game in their defense's hands and the Bears defenders came through.
Baylor returned two interceptions for touchdowns and set up another score with a fumble recovery on the way to defeating the Horned Frogs 41-38 on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
No. 9-ranked Baylor entered with an average of 661.6 yards per game, but the Bears stopped and started most of the night against a stingy TCU defense. Instead, Baylor proved it's more than a one-dimensional offensive machine.
Even in the fourth quarter, after Baylor failed to score despite driving inside the TCU 15, the Baylor defense was up to the task of preserving the lead.
The Horned Frogs gained possession trailing by three at their own 20 with 7:31 left. But Baylor forced TCU to go three-and-out in the crucial possession. The Bears' defense notched another stop when quarterback Casey Pachall's pass to sophomore wide receiver Josh Doctson picked up 13 yards on fourth-and-15 from the TCU 34.
Baylor safety Terrell Burt intercepted Pachall's pass in the Bears' end zone to turn away the Horned Frogs' final chance with 13 seconds left.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Levi Norwood for Baylor's only offensive score of the second half.
While the Baylor offense mostly sputtered in the second quarter, gaining just 30 yards and one first down, the defense swung the momentum by creating two turnovers.
Bears nose tackle Beau Blackshear recovered sophomore running back B.J. Catalon's fumble at the Horned Frogs' 1, setting up Petty's 1-yard touchdown run that put Baylor ahead 20-17.
With less than a minute remaining and TCU driving inside the Baylor 30, Bears safety Orion Stewart intercepted Pachall's pass at the Baylor 18. Stewart eluded the TCU offense for an 82-yard return for a touchdown that gave the Bears a 27-17 lead with 31 seconds left in the half.
Baylor added another interception return touchdown when linebacker Eddie Lackey picked off Pachall's pass on TCU's first possession of the second half. Lackey took the interception back 54 yards for the score.
Baylor's takeaways negated TCU's offensive and special teams momentum in the first half. The Horned Frogs produced a 63-yard touchdown drive, capped by sophomore running back Jordan Moore's 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Horned Frogs punt returner Cameron Echols-Luper brought back a Baylor punt 41 yards to the Bears' 21. On the next play, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin hit sophomore wide receiver LaDarius Brown for a 21-yard touchdown to give the Horned Frogs the lead, 17-13, with 6:18 left in the first half.
NOTES: Baylor's Ahmad Dixon was ejected for a targeting penalty in the second half and will have to miss the first half of the Bears' season finale against Texas. ... Baylor coach Art Briles was leading his team in the aftermath of brother Eddie Briles' death on Wednesday. Eddie Briles, 59, is reported to have fallen in his bathroom and suffered a head injury on Tuesday and died after being taken off a ventilator on Wednesday. ... Since TCU defeated Baylor 49-21 last season, the Horned Frogs have gone 6-12 while Baylor is 14-4. ... TCU entered the game with a 51-50-7 edge in the series against Baylor. The first game, played in 1899, was a 0-0 tie.