ARLINGTON, Texas -- Baylor starting quarterback Charlie Brewer left in the first half after two big hits and did not return to the Bears' 30-23 overtime loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 championship game Saturday.
Brewer's helmet hit the turf on a sack by Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray early in the second quarter, and he was slow to get up. Two plays earlier, Brewer had lowered his shoulder at the end of a 7-yard run and knocked OU nickelback Brendan "Bookie" Radley-Hiles to the ground.
After that series, Brewer was briefly evaluated by the Baylor training staff, but he returned for another offensive series. After that possession, head referee Mike Defee asked coach Matt Rhule to have his training staff again examine Brewer.
"I didn't know anything," Rhule said after the game. "Mike Defee came over and said 'Coach, can you please look at Charlie? He just seems a little bit out of it.' Now, I had been talking to Charlie on the sidelines [before] and he didn't seem out of it to me, but I have a lot of respect for Mike Defee. And he said that, so I called over Matt [Kuehl, team trainer] and said 'Hey, they're saying on the field that they were concerned about Charlie.'"
During the second sideline examination, Rhule said the doctor "looked at him and ruled him out." Baylor then sent Brewer to the locker room for further evaluation.
At halftime, Rhule told ESPN's Holly Rowe they decided to keep Brewer out to "err on the side of caution."
Redshirt freshman Gerry Bohanon, the No. 130 overall prospect in the 2018 ESPN 300, entered the game in place of Brewer and led the Bears to their first touchdown drive of the day on a 33-yard pass to Tyquan Thornton.
Bohanon (4-for-15 passing, 56 yards), however, couldn't finish against the Sooners because of a still-lingering knee injury suffered in the Bears' regular-season finale against Kansas.
That forced the Bears to turn to true freshman Jacob Zeno in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Zeno, the No. 137 prospect in the 2019 ESPN 300, threw for 159 yards and an 81-yard touchdown pass to Trestan Ebner in the fourth quarter that helped the Bears climb back into the game.
Before Saturday, Zeno had only appeared in one career game and attempted only three passes. He spent this week emulating Jalen Hurts for Baylor's scout team and spent Friday's practice playing safety for the scout team, Rhule said.
Brewer was 3-of-6 for 15 yards prior to leaving Saturday's game against the Sooners. He started every game for the No. 7 Bears this season, ranking second in the Big 12 in passing efficiency and fifth in touchdown passes (20) and passing yards per game (244.6).