By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer
WACO, Texas (AP) — Texas’ final tour through the Big 12 drew a nighttime sellout crowd that booed the visiting band.
The Longhorns had the place emptying out by the fourth quarter.
Jonathon Brooks ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns and No. 3 Texas got a dominant game from its defense to overpower Baylor in a 38-6 win Saturday night to launch the Longhorns into their final Big 12 season.
Texas will join the Southeastern Conference next year and will be finishing out the Big 12 with several last matchups with old rivals. The game was the 113th meeting between the Longhorns and Bears and the final one for the foreseeable future in a series that dates to 1901.
The breakup was rather one-sided, and rather satisfying for a group of Longhorns who were beaten here in 2021 when Texas finished 5-7 in coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season.
“Sark says all the time, ‘We’re a new Texas and we’re going to show y’all,” Texas linebacker David Gbenda said.
The Longhorns (4-0, 1-0) made quick work of the Bears (1-3, 0-1) with an explosive first half that included a 40-yard touchdown run from Brooks and a 29-yard scoring run from quarterback Quinn Ewers. The defensive front swamped Baylor at the line of scrimmage and sacked quarterback Sawyer Robertson twice in the first three plays.
The Longhorns’ final slate of games in the Big 12 has been unofficially dubbed the “Embrace the Hate” tour. Baylor fans lustily booed “The Eyes of Texas” song by the Longhorn band before the game, but had little to cheer for from the home team. Many left early — and left a large group of Longhorns fans to chant “Texas Fight!” — as Texas kept stretching the lead and never let Baylor reach the end zone.
“Away games the emphasis is going out there from the jump and empty the stands out,” Texas offensive tackle Christian Jones said. “That’s the goal.”
Brooks’ long touchdown and Ewers’ scrambling run to the end zone broke the Bears. Ewers had nearly thrown an interception the play before and seemed to have nowhere to throw when he took off running. He ducked around one blocker at the sideline and had a clear path to the end zone where he thrust his chest out like a sprinter crossing the finish line.
“I wasn’t thinking I was going to score,” Ewers said. “It was all a blur.”
Texas led 28-6 by halftime. Two Baylor drives inside the Texas 5 in the third and fourth quarters ended with no points when Robertson threw an interception in the end zone and then was sacked on fourth down. Robertson was sacked five times.
Texas: The Longhorns are off to their best start since 2009 season when Texas won its last Big 12 title and went undefeated in the regular season. That team lost to Alabama in the national championship game. After consecutive games against backup quarterbacks, the defense will now face two of the league’s best in Kansas’ Jalon Daniels and Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel.
“Championship teams get better during the season. We got better tonight,” Sarkisian said. “The games are only going to get more and more difficult.”
Baylor: The Bears are two seasons away from winning a Big 12 championship and this one is unraveling fast. Even if starting quarterback Blake Shapen can return, getting the blocking up front to protect him and spur a dormant run game will be the challenge going forward.
“It stings. It hurts. It frustrates,” to lose, Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. “You can think that’s who you are and when you think that, you can just give up … All of this will be put to the test.”
A steady, dominant win solidified the Longhorns’ No. 3 ranking. Look for them to stay right where they are behind No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Michigan.
LIGHT ON HIS FEET
Much has been made of Ewers’ weight loss since least and he’s joke about how cutting down on his favorite Chik-Fil-A meals helped him get from about 220 pounds to 195. And while it may make him easier to get knocked down by a pass rush, he definitely has picked up some speed as he showed on the sideline scamper to the touchdown in the second quarter.
Texas hosts Kansas next Saturday. The Jayhawks beat the Longhorns in double overtime in Austin in 2021 to break a 58-game road losing streak in the Big 12.
Baylor plays at new Big 12 opponent Central Florida on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll