By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
WACO - Robert Griffin III is a man of devout faith.
Before every Baylor football game, the former Copperas Cove standout never forgets to take a knee and say a silent prayer.
But even Griffin was taken aback at the sight of a true miracle as he led the No. 22 Bears to a stunning 45-38 upset over No. 5 Oklahoma in front of a nationally televised audience Saturday night at Floyd Casey Stadium.
"God works in mysterious ways," Griffin said.
For the second time this season, Griffin and his menagerie of receiving options powered the Bears (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) to an incredible last-drive victory over a Top-15 team.
After Oklahoma rallied to tie it at 38-38 with 51 seconds left in regulation on back-to-back rushing touchdowns by reserve quarterback Blake Bell, Griffin's magic touch went to work.
Following a 22-yard scramble to the Baylor 46, Griffin hit senior receiver Kendall Wright over the middle for 12 yards for a first down at the Sooners 34-yard-line. With no timeouts, Griffin raced to the line for the quick snap, stepping up in the pocket just long enough to give junior Terrance Williams time to get open in the right corner of the end zone for the winning score with 8 seconds left on the clock.
"All this is happening in milliseconds, so I saw (Williams) one-on-one and I thought, 'Well I'll give him a shot,' so I threw it up and he made a great catch," Griffin said.
Oklahoma returner Trey Franks fumbled the ensuing squib kickoff and Baylor's Clay Fuller recovered it for the program's first win over the perennially ranked Sooners (8-2, 5-2), who likely saw any shot at making the BCS National Championship game erased.
Setting several personal and school records along the way, Griffin finished with a career-high 551 yards of total offense, including a career-best 479 passing yards and four touchdowns. On the receiving end of Griffin's magic, Wright finished with a Baylor single-game record 208 yards receiving.
But the winning touchdown wouldn't even be the most thrilling play of the evening.
Trailing 24-17 midway through the third quarter after Oklahoma opened the second half with back-to-back scoring drives, Baylor found its groove on a single play.
Looking for sophomore receiver Tevin Reece on a crossing pattern, Griffin's pass skipped off the Temple product's hands and then deflected off his helmet about 20 yards downfield. As if scripted, the ball fell miraculously into the waiting arms of Wright at midfield. With the ball secured, Wright didn't miss a beat, racing the final 50 yards to the end zone for an 87-yard touchdown.
"Actually, we drew that up," joked Griffin.
Realizing the divine intervention of the play, Griffin took a knee at about the 15-yard-line before throwing up his hands in amazement as Baylor tied it up at 24-all.
"Those are the things that make you think this is a team of destiny," Bears coach Art Briles said.
Riding a wave of momentum, defensive tackle Nicholas Jean-Baptist registered his second sack of the night on the ensuing play and the Bears defense forced Oklahoma into a three-and-out punt.
"Baptist was pretty hungry tonight and he got a few cookies with those sacks," Griffin said.
Backed into a 4th-and-10 on the ensuing possession, Griffin and Wright again turned something out of nothing as Griffin sidestepped the pocket to find Wright for a 15-yard gain. Five plays later, Griffin's fourth-down magic struck again with a 23-yard completion to a diving Williams set up a 13-yard touchdown pass over the middle to wide-open tight end Jordan Najvar for the go-ahead score, 31-24 with 1:15 left in the third.
Baylor's oft-criticized defense again came up with a huge play as cornerback K.J. Morton intercepted a second-down pass from Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones at the Bears' 26-yard line less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
The next play, Griffin hit Lanear Sampson on a crossing pattern for a 50-yard catch-and-run to the Sooners' 24. Following a 13-yard facemask penalty against Oklahoma, Terrance Ganaway barreled his way in from 11 yards out to make it a two-score game, 38-24.