ARLINGTON – Texas Tech wide receiver Eric Ward played Baylor for the last time in his career Saturday. The Bears probably won’t mind seeing him leave.
Ward hurt Baylor for the third year in a row, though the Bears prevailed in all three games, winning 63-34 on Saturday.
The senior from Wichita Falls Rider pulled off a spectacular, 6-yard touchdown catch that gave Tech a 20-7 lead in the first quarter as the Red Raiders threatened an upset. Ward made a leaping catch with his right hand, then pinned the ball to his hip securely enough to hang on when he landed on his right elbow.
Baylor cornerback K.J. Morton had Ward smothered in coverage as he ran a fade route.
“The reason I had to catch it with one hand is the guy was holding,” Ward said, “so that’s the only option I had. I mean, I just did my job. The ball was in the air, I did the best I could to bring it down and it ended up being a touchdown.”
That was Ward’s fourth career touchdown against Baylor, and it wasn’t the first time the Bears have had trouble keeping Ward in check. The previous two years in the series, he had a 16-reception, 151-yard performance and a nine-catch, 113-yard game.
Ward finished with seven catches for 82 yards. The touchdown was his fourth in the last three games against the Bears. In addition, he had catches for 21 and 29 yards.
“He’s been a great example for those young receivers the way he’s practiced these last few weeks of his career,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said, “coming out and making plays over and over and over for us. And those young quarterbacks have faith that he’ll go up and make a play. It’s been good for our younger players to see the type of effort that he’s put into it.”
Ward moved into third place on the Tech career receptions list with 244, moving past Detron Lewis. He jumped past Joel Filani, Nehemiah Glover and Lewis to get to sixth in career receiving yardage with 2,732.
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