The Big 12 football race took a dramatic turn Sunday when it was revealed that the knee injury suffered by Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin was season-ending.
The sophomore tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee — with no other damage — in the first quarter of Saturday's 68-13 win over Northwestern (La.) State.
Griffin was being counted on to lead the Bears (2-1) to their first bowl game in 15 years.
Nebraska fans will take special note of Griffin's injury because the Huskers play at Baylor on Oct. 31. BU's two other North Division games are at Iowa State on Oct. 17 and at Missouri on Nov. 7.
Nick Joos, Baylor's senior associate athletic director for communications, used the term “really unfortunate'' three times in a Sunday night phone interview from Waco, Texas.
Griffin was injured when stopped on a fourth-and-2 keeper. Joos said Griffin remained on the turf for a few minutes before being helped to the sidelines.
“He kind of collected himself and then started jogging,'' Joos said. “Pretty soon, he went back into the game and was very effective.''
Playing through the first half, Griffin completed 13 of 19 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
“I knew I had to get back in the game no matter what was wrong with my knee,'' Griffin told reporters after the game. “I had to get them to give me whatever I needed, whether it was some tape or a brace or something.''
Baylor coach Art Briles, during a teleconference Sunday afternoon before Griffin's MRI, said he didn't think any major damage would be discovered. No further comment from Briles was immediately available.
Griffin's backup is senior Blake Szymanski, who was the starter before Griffin's arrival last season. Szymanski suffered a bruised throwing shoulder Saturday and has been listed day to day.
Joos said the Bears, who play at home this week against Kent State (2-2), aren't giving up on their bowl hopes.
“We've got a lot of talented athletes and good senior leadership on this team,'' he said. “Having another week before conference play to get adjusted will help.
“We know that good things can still happen over the next nine weeks.''
Baylor also lost defensive back and kick returner Mikail Baker for the season with a knee injury Saturday.
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