By Jeffrey Swindoll
Senior receivers Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood were familiar faces for returning Baylor football fans. However with a wide receiver corps stretched thin due to injury, the receiving rotation remained a question mark heading into Sunday’s game.
On Sunday, Baylor head coach Art Briles proved he had another trick up his sleeve – true freshman receivers KD Cannon and Davion Hall.
“[Cannon and Hall] did exactly what they have been doing in practice, which is being real consistent and making plays, and that’s all you can ask for,” Briles said. “What you want in anything is a predictable outcome. The less drama, the less surprises the better. That’s what we got out of them. That’s what we have been getting out of practice. They both did exactly what they have been doing.”
Hall and Cannon came out of high school as highly-ranked wide receiver recruits, something that Baylor football has grown accustomed to over the years. The reputation for producing high quality receiver has earned Baylor the nickname “Wide Receiver U” across the country. Sunday night saw yet another generation continue the receiving tradition.
Baylor’s offense had the expectation of getting big plays out of their receivers, regardless of class or experience. Cannon fulfilled that responsibility right from the start of his college career.
Cannon was on the receiving end of a spectacular play that had the McLane Stadium crowd on its feet in the first quarter. His first career reception was a 46-yard bomb from senior quarterback Bryce Petty that put the Bears up 24-0.
Cannon had just two catches, but totaled 59 yards on the night.
“We expected this from [Cannon and Hall],” Norwood said. “When they go out there we don’t expect any drop off from whoever they’re coming in for. I mean everyone’s seen KD’s plays in high school and knew what he could do. Davion we’ve seen since the spring when he was healthy that he was going to catch everything and that’s what he did Sunday.”
Hall did not give the Bears a touchdown like Cannon, but he led the Bears’ receiving rotation with 86 yards on seven receptions. The highlight of his night was a 28-yard reception for the first complete pass of freshman quarterback Chris Johnson’s career.
“There was a lot going through my mind,” Hall said of his first career start. “I had to just put it aside and get out there and play. It turned out real well.”
The depth chart for the receivers is much tighter than before the season started, but Briles said that there are capable receivers from top to bottom for the Bears. Cannon and Hall are another reason for Baylor fans to believe that the Big 12’s best offense from last year is likely to make a legitimate run at that mark again this season.