SAN ANTONIO — When Robert Griffin won the Heisman Trophy, he made sure everybody knew it took a village to get him there.
It took everybody in that village and then some to overcome Washington’s big guns in a wild Alamo Bowl.
Before a raucous crowd of 65,256, the two teams traded touchdowns all night in one of the craziest bowl games ever.
With Terrance Ganaway exploding for 200 yards rushing and five touchdowns, No. 15 Baylor powered to a 67-56 win over Washington on Thursday night at the Alamodome.
The Bears (10-3) won their first bowl since a 20-15 win over Arizona in the 1992 John Hancock Bowl and matched the 1980 Southwest Conference championship team for the most wins in school history in a season.
The Bears’ 67 points were the most ever in an FBS bowl game and they set a school record with 777 total yards. While Ganaway was named the Alamo Bowl’s offensive MVP, Jarred Salubi and Tevin Reese both chipped in 101 yards rushing on a combined seven carries as Baylor finished with 482 yards rushing.
The Bears overcame a 42-24 third quarter deficit to pull off their sixth straight win.
“We just felt we had to keep scoring to win the game,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “When you surround yourself with good people and believe in the same thing, you have a chance to have success. We’re pulling in the same direction. This is a tremendous win.”
Ganaway sealed Baylor’s win by scoring the final two touchdowns of the game on a 4-yard run with 8:15 remaining before breaking away for a 43-yard score with 2:28 left in the game.
“It was all about Baylor,” Ganaway said. “Robert Griffin and the offensive line took a lot of pressure off me. The offensive line has been a big key all year because they’ve won a lot of battles, and that’s why we’re a 10-3 team. You move the ball easily with guys around you like we have.”
Griffin also enjoyed a big night as he hit 24 of 33 passes for 295 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 55 yards and a score.
Baylor and Washington racked up 1,397 total yards to break the NCAA bowl record of 1,211 combined yards by Arizona State and Rutgers in the 2005 Insight Bowl.
“I looked up at the scoreboard near the end of the game and it said we had over 700 yards and that was unbelievable,” Griffin said. “To come back from a 42-24 deficit speaks to the character of our team. We’ve done it before and we stepped up again.”
The Bears erupted for 43 second-half points after going into halftime with a 35-24 deficit.
Baylor needed big offensive performances to overcome the Huskies (7-6), who finished with 620 total yards. Keith Price threw for 438 yards and four touchdowns while Chris Polk rushed for 147 yards and a score.
While Washington’s offense burned the Bears most of the night, the defense came up with a big stop when Gary Mason hurried Price into a bad throw on fourth-and-eight at Baylor’s 39 with 3:20 remaining.
With Baylor clinging to a 60-56 lead, Ganaway broke off his 43-yard touchdown run to finish off the win.
“We had to make sure we made the play at the end of the game to win it,” said Baylor linebacker Elliot Coffey, who was named the defensive MVP. “When you have an offense as potent as we do, it kept our spirits up and helped us get the win.”
After the Bears opened up a 21-7 first quarter lead, the Huskies dominated the second quarter. They outscored Baylor 28-3 to go into halftime with an 11-point lead.
Baylor piled up 343 first half yards while the Huskies collected 313.
Griffin started the game on fire as he hit eight of nine passes for 79 yards to lead the Bears on an 85-yard touchdown drive.
The first play was a near disaster as Kendall Wright lost eight yards on a reverse back to the 7. But Griffin rolled right and spotted Reese for 25 yards to the 32 to get out of the hole.
After Terrance Williams couldn’t hang on to a pass over the middle, Griffin threw a 15-yard pass to Jerod Monk before hitting Lanear Sampson for eight yards for another first down at Washington’s 37.
Griffin stayed hot as he found Wright for 14 yards for another first down. But the Bears’ drive was in danger of stalling when lineman Robert T. Griffin was called for an illegal receiver downfield penalty, giving Baylor a third-and-10 at the 23.
But after Griffin hit Sampson for nine yards, Ganaway picked up three yards on fourth-and-one.
On the next play, Griffin spotted Wright along the left sideline for an 11-yard touchdown with 11:14 left in the first quarter.
It didn’t take long for Washington to match the score as it moved 68 yards for a touchdown on its first drive.
Price went deep on his first pass as he hit Devin Aguilar behind Baylor’s secondary down the right sideline for 42 yards. The Huskies finished off the drive with Price’s 5-yard scramble for a touchdown.
The Bears only needed five plays to score their next touchdown as Salubi picked up 44 of 63 yards on the drive.
Salubi kicked off the drive by popping around the right sideline for 18 yards before Griffin hit Williams for 10 yards to set up a third-and-one at the 36.
Salubi did the rest as he ripped through a hole up the middle, made a couple of quick moves and blew through the secondary for a 36-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a 14-7 lead with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
After Baylor’s defense stopped Washington on its next possession, the Bears moved 82 yards for their third touchdown of the first quarter.
Griffin started the drive by hitting Wright for six yards before he ran for gains of three and seven yards. After hitting Reese for 16 yards to the 50, Ganaway carried three straight times for another first down.
But the Bears got into a first-and-20 situation after getting nailed for a holding penalty. Griffin made up for it by hitting Wright for 10 yards, Sampson for eight and then picking on a yard on fourth-and-one for the first down.
The next play was one of the most spectacular of the season for Griffin in a year full of remarkable plays.
Griffin looked like he was stopped at least three times as he scrambled to break loose from Washington’s defenders. Four players appeared to have a shot at Griffin near the line of scrimmage, but he broke into the open and carried Cort Dennison into the end zone for an amazing 24-yard touchdown run.
Griffin’s touchdown gave the Bears a 21-7 lead with 48 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Huskies responded with a 73-yard touchdown drive that featured several superb plays by Price. Price hit Jermaine Kearse for 13 yards before finding Kasen Williams for 16 more.
After Polk broke loose for 15 yards to Baylor’s 21, Price ended the drive by rolling left and spotting James Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut Baylor’s lead to 21-14 with 11:32 left in the second quarter.
The Huskies stopped the Bears for the first time and quickly tied the game at 21 with a nine-play, 77-yard drive.
Price started the march with a 28-yard pass to Jesse Callier, but it nearly stalled before Polk picked up two yards on fourth-and-one at Baylor’s 40.
The biggest play of the drive was Price’s 32-yard pass to Kearse to the 6. After Polk rushed for five yards, Price rolled right and hit Aguilar for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 21 with 4:52 remaining in the second quarter.
Andrew Hudson drilled Griffin on a pass rush and forced a fumble that John Timu recovered at Washington’s 43.
Polk picked up 14 yards before Price hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins for 16 to Baylor’s 15.
Price then scrambled and faked out Baylor nickelback Ahmad Dixon before finishing off the 15-yard touchdown run to give the Huskies a 28-21 lead with 1:38 left in the first half.
Facing fourth-and-nine at Washington’s 44, Baylor gambled on its next possession. But Timu broke up Griffin’s pass over the middle with 43 seconds remaining.
Polk made the Bears pay as he exploded up the middle on a draw and then broke down the right sideline for a 56-yard touchdown run to lift the Huskies to a 35-21 lead with 31 seconds left in the first half.
Griffin quickly moved the Bears to Washington’s 25 as Aaron Jones drilled a 42-yard field goal to end the half.
But the Huskies picked up where they left off in the second half as Price hit Kearse for an 80-yard touchdown to open up a 42-24 lead with 14 minutes left in the third quarter.
With the Bears blitzing, Price rolled left and found Kearse behind Baylor safety Sam Holl for the touchdown.
The Bears answered with their first touchdown since the first quarter as Salubi completed an 80-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.
The Huskies had a chance to score again when Williams returned a punt 46 yards to Baylor’s 17. But on the next play, Holl forced Polk to fumble and Rodney Chadwick recovered at the 11.
Ganaway was off to the races on the next play as he blew up the middle for an 89-yard touchdown run. Griffin hit a jump pass to Monk for the two-point conversion to cut Washington’s lead to 42-39.
But the Huskies quickly recovered as Price hit Kearse with a 60-yard pass to set up another touchdown. Price rifled a 13-yard bullet to Aguilar for the score to push Washington’s lead to 49-39 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
Salubi made a weaving, darting 24-yard run to set up Ganaway’s 1-yard touchdown plunge to cut Washington’s lead to 49-46 with 6:01 left in the first quarter.
Baylor’s defense came up with a stop and Erik Folk missed a 43-yard field goal.
That opened the door for the Bears to regain the lead as Reese exploded for 78 yards to set up Ganaway’s 1-yard touchdown run. Baylor took its first lead of the second half at 53-49 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.
Washington came back to grab a 56-53 lead when Price ran for an 8-yard touchdown with 9:40 left in the game.
Baylor responded with Ganaway’s fourth touchdown on a 4-yard run for a 60-56 lead with 8:15 remaining. Griffin set up the score with a 48-yard pass to Wright.