ARLINGTON -- Texas Tech's impressive string of bowl-eligible seasons ended Saturday night with a thud. So, too, perhaps, did Robert Griffin III's chances of winning the Heisman Trophy.
Griffin was knocked out of the game late in the second quarter on a personal-foul hit by Cornelius Douglas and missed the second half. But even without their main player, No. 18 Baylor still rolled to a 66-42 victory over Texas Tech before 51,615 at Cowboys Stadium.
The Bears piled up 617 total yards and snapped a 15-game losing streak to Tech while beating the Red Raiders for the first time since 1995 -- the last season of the Southwest Conference. Baylor also improved to 8-3 on the season, its first eight-win season since finishing the 1991 season at 8-4.
"The last four weeks have been pretty magical for us," Bears coach Art Briles said. "Tonight it was just a resilient and determined effort.''
That definitely rang true for backup quarterback Nick Florence.
After Griffin had his bell rung and suffered a slight concussion on the hit by Douglas, Florence took off his redshirt and played in his first game of the season.
"It's not about me, it's about the team," said Florence, who was 9 of 12 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. "If I'm going to remove (the redshirt), I'll remove it like that."
Griffin went out for one play after absorbing the blow from Douglas with 2:19 left in the first half. He returned for one play and darted into the end zone from the Tech 3 to give the Bears a 31-21 lead.
It turned to be Griffin's last play, although he was pressing Baylor's medical staff to play in the second half.
"I was fine," Griffin said. "But any time you have concussion-like symptoms they've got to play it safe.
"They took my helmet away at the start of the second half, because they knew if I had it I was going to go back in. But life is more important than football, because it's just a game."
As far as his Heisman chances disappearing, Griffin had more important things on his mind.
"I don't play for awards," Griffin said. "To me, (being out of the Heisman race) doesn't matter.
"The better line is we've won eight games this year, and we're excited about that."
Such excitement has been tempered at Tech, which finished the season 5-7 and was winless since upsetting then-No. 2 Oklahoma in Norman on Oct. 22. Tech had five or less wins for only the fourth time since 1986.
"It pretty much went tonight like it's gone for the rest of the year," Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "It's been a long year. We just need to go out now and start recruiting."
Tech last failed to play in a bowl game in 1999, former coach Spike Dykes' final season before Tech's streak of 11 consecutive bowl appearances -- 10 under Mike Leach, whom Tuberville replaced in 2010.
This season, Tech allowed 66 points to Baylor and Oklahoma State.
Baylor's Terrance Ganaway rushed for 247 yards on 42 carries and scored two touchdowns. He became the first player in Baylor history to have multiple 200-yard rushing games in a season.
Offensively, the Bears didn't appear to miss a beat when Griffin went down.
"We have a lot of depth on offense and we have a lot of great players," Ganaway said. "We didn't know if (Griffin) was going to go into the game for the second half, and we just backed Nick up."
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760