By Daniel Hill
Unlike Baylor’s narrow 35-25 victory against the Kansas State Wildcats on Oct. 12, on Saturday’s visit to the Sunflower State, the No. 6 Baylor Bears left no doubt with a convincing 59-14 win against the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Bears answered any concerns about their ability to perform on the road by delivering a display of overpowering offense and an authoritative defensive effort.
The Bears are now ranked No. 6 in the latest BCS standings and sit at No. 5 in the AP Poll. Baylor’s 11-game winning streak dating back to last season is an all-time school record. With a 4-0 start in the Big 12 Conference, this season marks Baylor’s best ever start in conference play.
The prolific Baylor offense racked up 743 total yards, while the Baylor defense limited Kansas to 308 total yards.
“We were ready,” senior nickel back Sam Holl said. “When we go on the road, it feels like us against the world. We knew that if we could do our job and get it done early, we had a good chance at having some success.”
Baylor, the NCAA’s most potent scoring offense, delivered eight touchdowns and a field goal for 59 points. Amazingly, Baylor’s 59 points against Kansas is lower than the Bears’ average of 63.9 points per game.
The No. 2 passing attack in all of the NCAA, at 417.3 yards per game, was led by junior quarterback Bryce Petty.
“It all starts with the guys up front,” Petty said. “I don’t think I was even touched tonight, and when you have that kind of confidence, to know you can sit there and go through your progressions, it makes my job a lot easier. Plus, I have some of the most talented players in the nation lining up next to me. They make me look a lot better than I do them.”
Petty fired three touchdowns on 20-of-32 passing for 430 yards. Petty also rushed for a touchdown in the second quarter.
“Bryce was about as good as I’ve ever seen him tonight,” head coach Art Briles said. “I mean he was really, really on. To the naked eye, people wouldn’t understand, but he checked-down about three times, stuff he has never done all year. I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job of allowing him to have time to throw the ball and I thought we did a good job on both sides of the ball up-front, offensively and defensively.”
Senior receiver Tevin Reese caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-yard score where he blazed past the Jayhawks defense.
Redshirt freshman receiver Corey Coleman hauled in two passes for 66 yards. The young Coleman gave Baylor fans a glimpse of the future when he flashed past the Kansas secondary for a 49-yard touchdown reception on a perfectly placed ball from Petty.
But the Baylor offense didn’t just deliver through the air. The ground game was an emphasis for the offensive attack as well. The seventh-best rushing attack in the NCAA, at 301.1 yards per game, rushed for 306 yards against the Jayhawks.
Junior running back Lache Seastrunk led all rushers in the game with 109 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.
Senior running back Glasco Martin carried the ball 11 times for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Once Baylor’s starters were removed midway through the third quarter, redshirt freshman utility back Shock Linwood was given a chance to shine and he didn’t disappoint with 106 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Baylor possesses the No. 6 scoring defense in the nation by allowing 15.9 points per game. Against Kansas, the Bears held the Jayhawks scoreless until 4:51 in the third quarter. At that point in the game, numerous members of Baylor’s starting defense were already pulled from the game and resting on the sidelines.
Senior defensive end Chris McAllister and sophomore defensive end Jamal Palmer each had one sack. Baylor’s aggressive, blitzing style of defense deeply desynchronized the Kansas offense. The Bears had nine tackles for loss in the contest. Palmer had three TFLs, and senior linebacker Eddie Lackey, senior cornerback K.J. Morton, senior linebacker Brody Trahan, sophomore defensive end Shawn Oakman, sophomore defensive tackle Suleiman Masumbuko and McAllister all had one TFL.
“It’s hard to win on the road,” Briles said. “It’s hard to win at home. It’s tough anywhere and that’s why as you have a mature football team, the more you grow. These guys have won a bunch of football games. They’ve done a lot of good things together. So when we get on the field we know what we’re doing and we have outcomes that are predictable and that’s what you like as a football team.”
The No. 6 Bears have yet to play a ranked team this season. That will change in Baylor’s next game when the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners come to Waco for a pivotal Big 12 showdown at Floyd Casey Stadium.
The Sooners are fresh off an impressive 38-30 win over No. 15 Texas Tech.
The 7-0 Bears will have a chance to make a statement against the 7-1 Sooners in front of a national television audience on FS1.
Both Oklahoma and Baylor have open dates this week before meeting on a unique Thursday night stage on Nov. 7. The national audience will be an optimal opportunity for the Bears to impress voters against another top-ranked team in an effort to move up in the BCS standings.