WACO, Texas (AP) — True freshman Richard Reese ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns, including a late game-clincher as the Bears held on to beat Kansas 35-23 on Saturday for their first victory in nearly a month.
Baylor (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) jumped out to a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game matching former Top 25 teams that had both lost their previous two games, and led 28-3 at halftime.
The Jayhawks (5-3, 2-3) got within 28-23 when quarterback Jason Bean scrambled 4 yards for a touchdown with 6 1/2 minutes left. That ended a 93-yard drive after Baylor was stopped on fourth-and-1, and included completions of 29 and 47 yards by Bean.
On the ensuing Baylor drive, Reese had a 14-yard catch and a 37-yard run before his 2-yard TD run with 2 1/2 minutes left on the last of his 31 carries.
Kansas is still without standout quarterback Jalon Daniels, who missed his second game in a row since injuring his right (throwing) shoulder after being hit late in the first half of a loss to TCU on Oct. 8. Bean was 16 of 27 for 232 yards and a touchdown.
Bears quarterback Blake Shapen left in the third quarter of their loss at West Virginia nine days earlier after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit. He was 17-of-26 passing for 164 yards with a touchdown Saturday. But he had three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble.
Shapen had only three interceptions in the first six games, but his two picks included one inside the Jayhawks 5 with only 2 seconds left in the first half. He fumbled in the third quarter when being sacked by defensive end Jereme Robinson, who picked up the ball and returned it 49 yards to set up Devin Neal’s 2-yard TD run.
The Bears were ranked 17th after a win at Iowa State on Sept. 24, but had since lost 36-25 at home Oklahoma State on Oct. 1, then had an open date before the Thursday night game at West Virginia. Kansas dropped out of the poll from 19th this week after its back-to-back losses to TCU and Oklahoma.
Reese’s early 14-yard TD run came two plays after a Kansas fumble caused and recovered by Jackie Marshall. That made it 14-0 less than a minute after Shapen’s quick throw to Monaray Baldwin, who caught the ball behind the line and turned that into a 17-yard touchdown on Baylor’s first possession.
Quentin Skinner, who had the early Kansas fumble, made a nifty 24-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter.
Kansas: The Jayhawks had scored 73 points in their previous two losses, but never really got much going against Baylor. They had just 76 total yards at halftime, and finished with only 288. They got helped by Shapen’s fumble and the quarterback getting stopped on fourth-and-1, after Bears middle linebacker Dillon Doyle ran to convert two earlier fourth-down tries.
Baylor: The Bears have won the last 13 games in the series against Kansas, and is 11-0 overall at home in the series. … Reese has nine rushing touchdowns, eight of them coming while scoring in each of Baylor’s four home games.
Kansas has its open date before hosting No. 11 Oklahoma State on Nov. 5.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.