Baylor entered its game against Texas with QB woes. After Seth Russell's season-ending injury, and Jarrett Stidham's season-ending injury, the Bears were starting third-stringer Chris Johnson.
But after a leg injury to Johnson, things got even worse. The Bears were forced to turn to Lynx Hawthorne, who had played wide receiver thus far in his Baylor career. The only other QB on the roster is Zach Bennema, a true freshman walk-on. So Lynx it was.
A 3-star athlete out of Refugio HS, Hawthorne had played QB as a junior in high school, but was an all-state WR as a senior and had only played wide receiver at Baylor. Our Baylor site Our Daily Bears said that Hawthorne could be a breakout player this year... but well, not at QB.
Lynx's first two passes were both interceptions.
After his first pick, his tackle led to a bench-clearing scuffle after several Texas players made contact with Hawthorne on the ground.
Sidelines clear after this play during the Texas-Baylor game. pic.twitter.com/K3Psyctw1U— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 5, 2015
The Bears went into halftime trailing 20-0, with Hawthorne going 4-for-13 for 22 yards and two interceptions. College football's top scoring offense scored zero points against a Texas team that allows over 30 a game.
But in the second half, Baylor rallied back. Half of plays were with Hawthorne in at quarterback, and he did hit some passes around the line of scrimmage. The other half were direct snaps to a running back out of an offense that basically resembled a 1920's single wing.
It still worked. Johnny Jefferson ran for 158 yards and Hawthorne had 66. Baylor scored 17 unanswered and got the ball back down 23-17 with 90 seconds to go. They couldn't even pass in their two-minute drill, AND THEY STILL PICKED UP YARDS:
But it was too beautiful for this world. Hawthorne's actual attempts at throwing the ball downfield weren't sufficient:
Jefferson was tasked with throwing a desperation Hail Mary, but it fell incomplete.
On the one hand, it was somewhat sad to see Baylor reduced to this. At one point, the Bears were track to make the College Football Playoff on the strength of its incredible passing game. And here they were having a WR chuck the ball into triple coverage. The Bears were in line to make the Sugar Bowl if they won. They won't, on the strength of a wide receiver's failure to play quarterback.
On the other hand, this was absolutely fascinating to watch. We fell in love with Lynx Hawthorne. For starters, HIS NAME IS LYNX. He told the Waco Tribune about the fact that he is named for a ferocious cat.
What’s the story behind your name?
Oh, man, there’s been a lot of stories over the years. I’ve kind of come up with a lot of them. Truth is, I’ve got an older brother named Brixx and my sister is Lexy, so we’ve all got X’s in our name. But obviously with a name like that I’ve been asked about it a lot over the years, so I’ve come up with lots of stories. I think the latest one I told was that my mom and dad were hiking when she was pregnant with me and my dad saved her life from a lynx cat.
But really your parents just like unusual names?
Yeah, I think they knew we’d be dealing with questions about our names all of our life. Ultimately, I’m glad I turned out to be somewhat fast. I’d hate to be Lynx, the Texas state typing champion.
And yes, his older brother is named Brixx. He played quarterback for D-III Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Watching Baylor resurrect an offense from 100 years ago with actual implications -- and nearly pull it off -- was amazing. We love Lynx, and Brixx, and the entire Hawthorne clan, and hope Lynx somehow finds a way to lead the Bears to glory.