Blake Shapen threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 9 Baylor hold on for a 21-16 win over No. 5 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday in Arlington, Texas.
The Bears (11-2) kept their faint College Football Playoff hopes alive and secured at least a Sugar Bowl berth with the win while the Cowboys (11-2) await their bowl fate Sunday after having their CFP hopes dashed.
Jairon McVea made a diving stop of the Cowboys' Dezmon Jackson on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the final minute, thwarting Oklahoma State's comeback hopes and giving the Bears their first Big 12 title since sharing it in 2014 and first solo title since 2013.
Baylor led 21-3 in the second quarter but the Cowboys didn't go away, chipping away and making it 21-16 with Tanner Brown's 20-yard field goal with 8:17 remaining.
Oklahoma State's defense had been the best in the Big 12 all season and kept the Cowboys' in it, with a pair of four-quarter stops after Brown's field goal.
The Cowboys got the ball back with 3:23 left, needing 90 yards to take the lead for the first time since late in the first quarter.
With running back Jaylen Warren out with an injury, and Baylor making yardage hard to come by on the ground, Oklahoma State leaned heavily on Spencer Sanders.
Sanders was 7 for 9 on the final drive to give the Cowboys a chance.
Sanders threw for 257 yards but was picked off four times by Baylor.
Oklahoma State needed just two yards to take the lead after a pass interference call in the end zone.
But Baylor's defense stopped Jackson on consecutive plays, Sanders' pass to Austin Jarrard was broken up by Jalen Pitre, then McVea made his stop on the edge, knocking Jackson out just short of the pylon.
With starting quarterback Gerry Bohanon out for the second consecutive week with a hamstring injury, the Bears had to lean heavily on Shapen, a redshirt freshman, and a tenacious defense that made life difficult on the Cowboys.
Two Baylor interceptions set up early scores, helping the Bears go up 21-3 late in the second quarter. Shapen completed his first 17 passes and finished 23 of 28.
Ben Sims, Drew Estrada and Tyquan Thornton caught the Baylor scoring passes.
--Field Level Media