ARLINGTON -- Art Briles set out to change the culture of a moribund Baylor football program when he was hired as coach in 2007. Saturday's 52-45 overtime victory over Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium was another milestone moment for the Bears.
The win makes Baylor (6-5, 3-4) bowl eligible for an unprecedented third straight season and is its second consecutive victory over Texas Tech after dropping their first 15 Big 12 meetings.
"It's hard to do in this league and the reason is because when we went to 10 teams, that meant you have to win three conference games to get bowl eligible," Briles said. "Everybody in this conference can beat you, so I'm appreciative of our team becoming bowl eligible in what I think is the toughest conference top to bottom in the United States of America."
Appropriately billed as the Texas Farm Bureau Shootout, the game featured a combined 1,241 yards of offense and 97 points, though a handful of Baylor defensive plays proved decisive.
The Bears took their first lead at 35-31 on a pick-six by linebacker Eddie Lackey, who returned an errant throw by Tech's Seth Doege 55 yards on the fourth quarter's opening play.
"We had good pressure, and he was rattled running around back there," said Lackey, who finished with five tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. "I tried to step back underneath the curl. I don't think he saw me and it ended up in my hands."
The lead flip-flopped three more times in the fourth before Baylor tied it at 45-45 on Aaron Jones' 22-yard field goal.
Lackey's second interception came on Texas Tech's ensuing possession, but Jones missed a 48-yard field goal to end regulation.
The Bears ran the ball four straight times to open OT, finding the end zone on a 4-yard run by Glasco Martin, who finished with 98 yards and two scores. Baylor's Lache Seastrunk added a game-high 136 yards rushing.
Needing a score to extend the game, Tech faced fourth-and-5 at the 20, but Baylor cornerback Joe Williams broke up a pass intended for Eric Ward.
Texas Tech ended the regular season with its fourth loss in five games despite totaling 567 yards.
Doege threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns and added another 58 yards and a score on the ground. His favorite target was Darrin Moore, who hauled in a game-high 13 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
"We knew this would be a high-scoring game," Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We felt we would have to score 45, that was our number. It wasn't enough."
The Bears, who entered the contest with the No. 2 offense in the FBS at 566 yards a game, racked up a Cowboys Stadium-record 674 total yards.
Receiver Terrance Williams continued his destruction of Big 12 defenses with seven grabs for 175 yards and a touchdown. His performance moved him to the top of the Baylor record book in both career all-purpose yards (4,554) and single-season receiving yards (1,693), surpassing Kendall Wright in both categories.
The victory was especially sweet for Baylor quarterback Nick Florence, who had the unenviable task of replacing Robert Griffin III this season. The senior had 447 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.
"It's been a journey for all of us," Florence said. "No one said we could do this and looking a month ago, people were writing us off. I'm proud of this team and wouldn't want to be with anybody else."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760