WACO It was a night for making amends.
After a horrendous couple of games on the road, resulting in back-to-back losses to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, it was a welcomed homecoming for the Baylor Bears.
Robert Griffin III threw for 406 yards his third straight 400-yard game and three scores, Terrance Ganaway ran for 186 yards and two long touchdowns, and the Bears gutted out a 42-39 victory over Missouri on Saturday night at Floyd Casey Stadium. "It was big, we just went out there and got our confidence back," said sophomore Temple product Tevin Reese. "Just to know we can still do it, and let everybody know we're still here."
Reese was one of many Bears to find redemption in the safe confines of Floyd Casey, coming back after dropping a sure touchdown early in the fourth quarter with a bobbling 68-yard touchdown catch on the very next drive, giving Baylor a 35-17 lead with 8:22 remaining.
"It was big to get the ship turned around," said Griffin, a Copperas Cove product.
In the return home, Baylor (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) got an all-around performance it'd lacked on the road, especially from the run game that managed a combined 226 rushing yards the past two weeks. Led by Ganaway's 186, the Bears ground game combined for 291 rushing yards to compile 697 total yards of offense against Missouri (4-5, 2-4).
"We needed that. We just needed to know that we could still run and pass and play good on defense, we did all that today," said Reese, who finished with a career-high 163 receiving yards as one of three Bear receivers with seven catches on the night.
Terrance Williams had an even 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns while senior Kendall Wright added 97 yards.
Coming out of halftime, Baylor wasted little time finding the end zone
Rolling to his left, Griffin forced the Mizzou corner to step up, leaving Williams wide open in the back right corner of the endzone for a 28-yard touchdown strike.
Following a Tigers personal foul penalty, when Williams was tackled late and out of bounds, Griffin took it in himself from 1 1/2 yards out for the two-point conversion and a 21-14 Baylor lead at 13:12 of the third quarter.
"Our biggest thing was, we have to protect our house," said Griffin, who went 27-of-41 passing on the night.
After a missed 54-yard field goal attempt by kicker Aaron Jones his second miss of the game the Bears' defense came up with the biggest play of all as linebacker Elliot Coffey drilled Mizzou tight end Michael Egnew on a short pass play, knocking the ball loose for corner Ahmad Dixon to jump on with 1:50 left in the third.
Two plays later, Ganaway shrugged off two Tigers defenders up the middle before cutting right across the field for a diving 38-yard touchdown scamper for a 28-14 lead.
"It was a corner blitz, and Kendall's screaming 'Corner, corner, corner' and as soon as I look up the corner is blazing in so I just stopped and cut up," Ganaway said. "I cut across the field and just used my ability to get in the end zone."
Ganaway wasn't done with the long runs, though, ripping off an 80-yard touchdown sprint down the Baylor sideline to make it 42-25 with 6:53 to play after Missouri quarterback James Franklin hit Marcus Lucas for a 24-yard touchdown strike 12 seconds earlier.
"We needed this one tonight, so we went out and got it, by all means possible," said Ganaway, who capped the win with a 19-yard first-down run with 1:01 left.