By Tyler Alley
Head coach Art Briles showcased his team in 75-minute controlled scrimmage Saturday at the Highers Athletics Complex Practice Fields.
The returning players from Baylor’s 10-3 season took the field in front of an estimated crowd of 2,750.
“First of all, just a great crowd, really pleased and humbled by the amount of people that showed up today,” Briles said. “It was not just outstanding weather, so for them to come out and support us like they did gives us a lot of inspiration. That’s why at the end our guys went over and really told them, ‘Thank you.’ The atmosphere was really good.”
Much of the focus during and after the scrimmage was on the quarterback, senior Nick Florence and sophomore Bryce Petty.
Petty delivered the first offensive scoring play of the day with an 18-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Rhett Butler against Baylor’s No. 1 defense.
Florence would toss up some scores of his own, throwing three touchdowns — an 18-yard pass to senior receiver Lanear Sampson, a 3-yard pass to sophomore receiver Antwan Goodley and a 20-yard pass to sophomore receiver Levi Norwood.
“They both impressed me today,” Briles said of his two quarterbacks. “We, as a coaching staff, are trying to figure out what each of them are best at and use that in our offensive scheme.”
Florence finished with 183 yards on 14 of 18 passes, and Petty finished with 146 yards on 18 of 27 passes.
“I think we both did a really good job. I think we’re still going to battle it out,” Florence said. “I’m not saying I’m better. I’m not saying he’s better. I think our job this spring was to come out and compete and make each other better, and I think we’ve done that.”
Baylor’s running backs took their chance to impress as well. Senior Jarred Salubi rushed 88 yards on seven attempts, and junior Glasco Martin rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown for the first-team offense.
Sophomore running back Lache Seastrunk had seven rushes for 138 yards and a touchdown. He showed off his speed against the first-team defense with a 59-yard run and a 75-yard touchdown run.
“I’ve been working on my speed,” Seastrunk said.
The receiving corps showed its depth Saturday, as junior Terrance Williams did not participate in the scrimmage. Sampson, junior receiver Tevin Reese and Norwood each had more than 50 yards receiving.
The defense also showed its new comfort level heading into its second season under defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.
Junior nickleback Ahmad Dixon had six tackles and one sack.
“I guess you can say [I’m a leader] as far as me being one of the starters that came back,” Dixon said. “Out of everybody that came back, I’m the most verbal guy. I have to step up on my end and lead by example.”
The scrimmage wrapped up Baylor football’s 15-practice spring schedule. The first game of the 2012 season will be against SMU Sept. 1 at Floyd Casey Stadium.