AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas players said during the week that winning would fix a lot of problems and silence a lot of critics. The Longhorns' wild 56-50 win over Baylor on Saturday night will heal some of the wounds opened by a two-game losing streak.
Joe Bergeron ran for five touchdowns, pushing Texas to the win in another frantic game in a Big 12 that seems to provide heart-pounding, high-scoring action every week.
Bergeron called the previous week's 63-21 humiliation at the hands of Oklahoma a "wake-up call" for the Texas season.
"Our mindset going through this week was we need to re-establish ourselves as a football team," said Bergeron, who fell one touchdown short of the school record held by Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ricky Williams.
Texas quarterback David Ash passed for 274 yards for the Longhorns (5-2, 2-2 Big 12), who earned their third Big 12 home win since 2010.
Baylor's Nick Florence passed for two touchdowns and ran for two, but the Bears (3-3, 0-3) missed a chance to get a third straight win over Texas for the first time in a rivalry dating to 1901.
Texas led 42-31 at halftime and the game was on pace to beat the Big 12 record total of 133 points set when Baylor lost 70-63 to West Virginia on Sept. 29.
"Our offense had to score when we had it. It got to be who had the ball last," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "This is the offense we want. It's who we want to be."
The Bears and Longhorns combined for 1,132 yards, 56 first downs and 14 touchdowns, and the Longhorns gave up more than 600 yards for the second consecutive week in a performance that won't ease the pressure on second-year defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
The bright spot for Texas was holding Baylor to field goals instead of touchdowns on three scoring drives in the second and third quarters which made a huge difference in the end.
"We asked them to fight tonight and I thought they did," said Diaz, who has heard Longhorns fans calling for him to be fired as his defense has surrendered at least 48 points the last three games. "Right now this football team just has to find a way to win. That's what we needed."
The game wasn't settled until Texas recovered a pooch kickoff with 1:57 left after Florence scored his second touchdown. Bergeron converted a critical third-and-1 that helped Texas run out the clock.
Baylor has scored 113 points in its two Big 12 road games this season and lost both by a total of 13 points.