Nov 4, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA;  Houston Cougars tight end Mike O'Laughlin (17) makes a catch against Baylor Bears cornerback Caden Jenkins (19) and linebacker Garmon Randolph (55) during the first half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

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Donovan Smith powers Houston over Baylor in OT

Donovan Smith scored a game-winning two-point conversion run in overtime to lead visiting Houston past Baylor 25-24 on Saturday in Waco, Texas.

Baylor’s Dawson Pendergrass rushed for a 1-yard touchdown on the first possession of overtime and Blake Shapen passed for two scores, but it wasn’t enough for the Bears (3-6, 2-4 Big 12).

A penalty against Houston on Baylor’s OT possession forced the Cougars to start from the Bears’ 40-yard line in OT.

Smith was 20-of-25 passing for 217 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 58 yards. Nelson Ceaser had 2 1/2 sacks and Treylin Payne added 1 1/2 for Houston.

Houston (4-5, 2-4) held on after a wild second half.

Baylor rallied to tie the score with 29 seconds left in regulation, as Shapen connected with Hawkins Polley for a 1-yard touchdown to cap an 11-play, 74-yard drive. A missed 44-yard field goal attempt by the Cougars set up the tying drive for the Bears.

Shapen was 29-of-37 for 263 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Cougars capitalized on a fourth-down defensive stop to open the scoring. After Payne sacked Shapen on fourth-and-6 from the Cougars’ 43, forcing a Bears turnover on downs, Houston wasted little time scoring first.

Smith completed three consecutive passes, the last for a 26-yard touchdown to Samuel Brown with 8:03 remaining in the second quarter.

Baylor appeared to score a tying 21-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half, as Shapen threaded a tight pass to Josh Cameron. However, a booth review revealed that Cameron didn’t have full possession of the ball when he went to the ground.

The Bears settled for a 38-yard field goal attempt, but Isaiah Hankins missed wide right. Jamaree Caldwell blocked Hankins’ attempt from 49 yards out with 7:55 left in the first quarter.

Jack Martin kicked a 31-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter to extend Houston’s lead to 10-0.

Baylor drew to within three points behind some trickery. A double-reverse pass resulted in a 38-yard touchdown connection from Shapen to Drake Dabney with 2:20 left in the third quarter. Hankins hit a 27-yard field goal to tie the score at 10 with 8:18 left.

Dabney had four catches for 76 yards.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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