Bears lead WVU 56-14 at half

imageBy Daniel Hill
Sports Editor

Baylor’s offense picked up where it left off last year against West Virginia in the Big 12 Conference opener at Floyd Casey Stadium.

On the first drive of the game, the Bears scored in a three-play, 75-yard drive when junior quarterback Bryce Petty launched a 61-yard touchdown strike to junior receiver Antwan Goodley to give the Bears a sudden 7-0 lead.

On West Virginia’s initial possession, the Bears forced the Mountaineers to punt to junior receiver Levi Norwood. Norwood, typically one of the most sure-handed Baylor players, muffed the punt and the ball rolled into the end zone. West Virginia sophomore safety Karl Joseph pounced on the ball to tie the game at 7-7.

The error sparked the Bears into overdrive and the offense scored on the next four possessions to give the Bears a 35-7 lead early in the second quarter.

With the score tied at 7 apiece, the Bears offense engineered a methodical 12-play, 75-yard drive capped off by Petty’s 2-yard rushing touchdown to make it 14-7 Baylor.

The Baylor defense mounted a ferocious stand by blitzing on three straight plays and stopping the Mountaineers’ in bold fashion on fourth down when senior linebacker Eddie Lackey chased down junior Dreamius Smith for a loss of two yards.

The Bears took over on downs at the West Virginia 47-yard line. Petty aggressively fired a 47-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Tevin Reese on the first play of the drive. Reese made a highlight catch to juggle the ball and maintain control of it for a touchdown to increase the Baylor lead to 21-7.

The Baylor defense stepped up once again by forcing a WVU punt. The punt went into the end zone to give the Bears the ball at the 20.

Junior running back Lache Seastrunk rocketed around the right side of the field on a carry and torched the WVU defense for an 80-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a convincing 28-7 lead after the first quarter.

The Bears gained 369 yards of offense in the first quarter, which is the most by any team in any quarter in the last ten years.

The Bears further increased the lead to 35-7 after senior running back Glasco Martin pounded the rock into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown rush.

Petty, who has been practically flawless so far this season, made his first big mistake of the year when he stared down his receiver and was picked off by freshman cornerback Daryl Worley at the 10-yard line. Worley returned the ball all the way into West Virginia territory at the 47-yard line before getting decked by freshman receiver Corey Coleman.

The Bears forced another WVU punt and Martin capitalized with his second rushing touchdown of the contest with another 2-yard run to boost the Baylor lead to 42-7.

The West Virginia offense answered back when junior quarterback Clint Trickett found junior receiver Kevin White in the back of the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass, cutting into the Baylor lead 42-14.

The 14 points from West Virginia represents the most points the Bears have given up all season, with the previous high being 13 points to Buffalo on Sept. 7.

Seastrunk flashed his amazing athleticism on a sweep to the left as he tight-roped into the end zone on a 19-yard rush and dove inside the pylon to give the Bears a 49-14 lead with 4:02 remaining before half time.

Freshman utility back Shock Linwood expanded the Baylor lead with a quick inside dive play where he rushed untouched for a 13-yard score, giving the Bears a 56-14 lead going into the half.

Through the first half, Petty has passed for 342 yards with two touchdowns and is 16-of-24.

Seastrunk leads the Bears in rushing with 15 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Martin has 12 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns.

Petty and Linwood each have 20 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Goodley leads the Bears in receiving with 7 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown.

Reese has two catches for 59 yards and one touchdown.

The Baylor offense has racked up 617 yards of total offense, while the defense has limited West Virginia to 151 total yards in the half.