WACO, Texas -- Thanks to a weak non-conference schedule and some gutsy wins over conference opponents, No. 17 Baylor had mostly managed to avoid letting its off-field problems turn into on-the-field problems for the first part of the season.
Saturday, all that changed.
Kyle Hicks finished with 192 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries as Baylor was upset by Big 12 rival TCU 62-22.
The Horned Frogs (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) handed the Bears (6-2, 3-2) their second straight loss, one that comes on the heels of another week of turmoil and fallout from a sexual assault scandal that seemingly unveils new problems each week.
This week, those problems seemed to come from within, and at an inopportune time.
The majority of Baylor's assistant coaches and support staff -- 33 people in all -- sent out a mass tweet on Friday evening defending the actions of fired head coach Art Briles against an article written on Thursday in the Dallas Morning News. Add that to a "black out" taken on by the players and a group of fans -- the Bears chose to wear black uniforms against TCU -- despite the school asking fans to wear green for the game, and distractions weren't hard to find.
Baylor coach Grobe and the players both said after the game they weren't aware of the assistant coaches' plan to put out the mass tweet.
"We had the Wall Street Journal article come out before we played Texas, and that was the question," Grobe said. "I really don't know if it was a distraction coming into this game. ... I think TCU played great. I hate to make excuses, but I really don't know how to put my finger on that."
Baylor scored on its second play from scrimmage, with Seth Russell finding Ish Zamora for an 81-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game. TCU answered right back with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Hill to Taj Williams to tie it. Hill was benched in last week's loss to Texas Tech but got the start against Baylor.
The breakneck scoring to start the game slowed down considerably, with the Horned Frogs taking a 10-7 lead on a 26-yard field goal by Brandon Hatfield with 5:36 left in the first quarter.
TCU took a 17-7 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run by Hicks on the first play of the second quarter -- a drive aided by facemask and pass interference calls on Baylor on third downs.
The Horned Frogs added to their lead on a 22-yard touchdown run by Hicks on fourth-and-2, going up 24-7 with 10:44 left in the second quarter, then scored again right away when TCU's R'Anthony Texada intercepted Russell and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown and a 31-7 lead.
"We've just got to stay focused," Russell said. "You can only say so much, the rest of it is about your preparation and the way you play the game. We have had a lot of talk, and we don't need to be talking right now. We need to just be focused on the next game, focused on doing whatever we need to do to play better."
Baylor (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) finally answered back on a 2-yard touchdown run by Russell with 2:29 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 31-14 at halftime, converting two fourth downs on the drive.
TCU (5-4, 3-3) scored its final touchdown of the first half on a 3-yard touchdown run by Hicks with seven seconds left in the second quarter and opened the second half with another TD run by Hicks, this one on an 18-yard scamper for a 45-14 lead.
Hill bounced back from last week by going 17 of 30 passing for 244 yards and adding 85 rushing yards.
"I thought Kenny showed a lot of resiliency," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "I thought he handled some adversity really well. I thought everybody did and I thought they came in focused and were ready to play from the start.
"(Baylor) hits that early touchdown on us and nobody got their head down. They came right back at them."
Russell finished 22 of 42 passing for 282 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
NOTES: Baylor all-time leading rusher Shock Linwood did not play in the first half, with Terrance Williams and freshman Jamycal Hasty splitting carries as the Bears' ground game struggled most of the first half. Linwood split carries with Williams and Hasty in last week's loss to Texas. Linwood, who was featured on the cover of Saturday's game program, came in for Baylor's second series of the third quarter and carried the ball three straight times. Grobe said Linwood was held out early because he hadn't practiced well late in the week.