AP Photographer captures KWTX reporter’s jaw-dropping reaction to Baylor’s goal line stand
Bears held on to defeat OSU Cowboys, 21-16, in Big 12 Championship
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A KWTX sports reporter’s jaw-dropping reaction was caught on camera by an Associated Press photographer as he filmed the game-winning defensive play by Baylor defensive back Jairon McVea.
Reporter Chris Williams was recording the final moment of the Big 12 championship game at AT&T stadium in Arlington Saturday afternoon when one of the most memorable plays in Baylor football history unfolded before him, just feet away.
Baylor was leading Oklahoma State 21-16 with only a few seconds left in the game. The OSU Cowboys had the ball at the two yard line on 4th down.
Williams’ eyes were focused through the lens of his camera. As soon as Oklahoma State running back Dezmon Jackson was pulled down inches away from the pylon and the goal line on a play that secured the Bears’ first Big 12 Championship in seven years, his jaw dropped!
“My whole family is like ‘we have never seen you with your mouth wide open,’” Williams jokingly recalled. “That is just not a reaction I’ve had before.”
Williams, who didn’t go to Baylor but has many family ties there, had been covering the game from the other end of the end-zone. He decided late in the fourth quarter, as Oklahoma State began to drive, that he would move to the other end and assist KWTX Sports Director, Darby Brown.
Little did Chris know, the spot he chose would leave him front and center to one of the biggest - and soon-to-be - most memorable moments in Baylor football history.
“It didn’t sink in,” he said. “It’s so loud in that stadium you can’t hear yourself think and it’s just like trying to do the job but eyes are wide and mouth clearly wide open just trying to comprehend what just happened.”
Williams said, from his viewpoint, the Oklahoma State player was likely going to get in the end-zone on the fourth down play.
“When I first saw him bounce outside, I was like ‘okay he has the angle, he’s going to score. (Baylor is) going to lose.’”
That’s when McVea changed everything by dragging down Jackson just short of the goal line.
McVea’s journey to that fourth quarter play was anything but traditional. He was a walk-on under former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule.
In 2019, he was put on scholarship and should have finished his eligibility in 2020 when the Bears went 2-7 in a season shortened as a result of the pandemic.
As a result of COVID-19, was given the option of an extra year of eligibility. Many wondered why McVea decided to come back coming off such a bad season for the team.
Williams said McVea was overwhelmed by his game-winning effort.
“It almost seemed like he was in a bit of a haze because it was like a dream,” Williams said.
Like most of the fans in the stadium, Williams joined them in disbelief at what he’d witnessed.
“I had to look up at the ref and he called it short and it was in that moment I was like ‘wait, they actually just stopped them and they actually just won a Big 12 Championship. Unbelievable.’”
Williams says while he’s covered many big sporting moments in his career, this will be one that will always rank as one of the very best.
“I had people texting me from all over,” Williams smiled. “People back home in Utah, California, texting me like ‘hey we just saw you on tv you were right next to that play.”
“It was surreal.”
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