Wilson, Duke remain unbeaten by beating Baylor, 34-20

Baylor’s Dru Dixon battles Duke’s Joe Giles-Harris for extra yardage Saturday in Durham, N.C. Duke limited the Bears to 57 rushing yards as it dealt Baylor a 34-20 loss.

Associated Press — Bernard Thomas

DURHAM, N.C. — With Saturday’s 34-20 loss to Duke, Baylor fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1999.

The Bears opened this season with a 48-45 loss to Liberty followed by a 17-10 loss to UTSA at McLane Stadium.

In the 1999 season, the Kevin Steele era began with losses to Boston College, UNLV, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Bears are in danger of dropping their fourth straight game when they face No. 2 Oklahoma at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at McLane Stadium. But first-year Baylor coach Matt Rhule liked the energy his team brought against the Blue Devils.

“I’m proud of their effort, I thought they fought,” Rhule said. “There was such a fun demeanor on the sidelines.”

Bad rushing attack

Baylor’s biggest problem offensively was its inability to run the football.

The Bears finished with just 57 yards on 27 carries and didn’t score a touchdown on the ground. Freshman walk-on Dru Dixon led the Bears with 28 yards rushing on nine carries.

Baylor controlled the ball for just 21 minutes and three seconds and converted one of 12 third downs and failed to convert on three fourth downs.

“When you can’t run the football you can’t control the game,” Rhule said. “We have to grow up front, just like our defensive line has, and that has to happen quickly.”

Baylor forces 2 turnovers

The Bears forced their first two turnovers of the season as Deonte Williams recovered a fumble and Henry Black intercepted a pass.

They were both key plays. Williams recovered the fumble on Duke’s first drive at the Blue Devils’ 39 to set up Zach Smith’s 44-yard touchdown pass to Denzel Mims.

Late in the second quarter, Black stopped a Duke scoring threat by intercepting Daniel Jones’ pass in the end zone for a touchback.

“That’s all we preach: turnovers,” said Baylor defensive end Brian Nance. “You get the ball back to an explosive offense like ours, it gets us off the field and keeps their defense on the field.”

Platt enjoys big day

Baylor junior receiver Chris Platt made four catches and set a career high with 148 yards.

He scored both of his touchdowns in the third quarter as he grabbed a 73-yarder and a 79-yarder from Zach Smith. Platt’s previous high for receiving yards was 114 last year against Oklahoma State.

“I’m not going to focus on what my stats are,” Platt said. “If they’re trying to get somebody else open, I’m willing to do whatever I need to get the ball in their hands. If they’re doubling me, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get the other person open.”

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