Briles expects Petty to play; other starters still in doubt

By Cody Soto
Sports Writer

A pack of Bears will return to the field on Friday in Buffalo, N.Y. as No. 8 Baylor plays Buffalo in its first road game of the year.

Senior quarterback Bryce Petty is expected to play after sitting out last Saturday’s game against Northwestern State.

“He is really good. He said he was sore, but not painful and that is a big difference,” head coach Art Briles said. Petty suffered from two cracked vertebrae in his lower back during the first series of the Bears’ season opener against SMU on Aug. 31.

Although he only played in the first half, Petty racked up 161 passing yards on 13 out of 23 attempts and threw for two touchdowns. He also rushed for 21 yards and a scored a touchdown in Baylor’s 45-0 shutout over the Mustangs.

“I took a big shot to the back. I was battling through some stuff the whole first half early, which messed with me and I couldn’t plan and throw well enough as I wanted to, so a lot of things stemmed off of that,” Petty said. “It got to the point where it was hard to stand up.”

Petty’s return to the starting lineup will put sophomore quarterback Seth Russell back in a second string position. Russell made his first career start on Saturday and posted 438 passing yards and threw for five touchdowns in the first half, both Baylor records for a half.

“Bryce is the leader of this team,” Russell said. “I want to start, but I told him that this is his team, and if he’s 100 percent, then he needs to go for it.”

Also returning for Baylor is sophomore tight end Tre’Von Armstead, who did not play on Saturday because of a sprained medial collateral ligament that he suffered during the SMU game.

Sophomore inside receiver Corey Coleman and senior wide receiver Antwan Goodley are both doubtful to play in Friday’s matchup. Coleman and Goodley sat out against Northwestern State with different injuries.

Coleman is still recovering from a pulled hamstring during the first scrimmage of the season while Goodley has quad injury.

“I don’t think either one of them would play. They are showing a little progress, but not as quickly as we hoped,” Briles said. “Our plan was to try to get them on the field this week, but if they’re not ready to go, then we will rest them so they’ll have two weeks off and hopefully get them back for Iowa State.”

Sophomore running back Devin Chafin is also not expected to play this week after a high ankle sprain prevented him from performing well at the SMU game. Chafin only posted seven yards and received two out of five passes in the season opener.

“I would be surprised if Chafin is ready to go this week,” Briles said. “High ankle sprains are usually a minimum of three weeks. His wasn’t that bad, so I think there’s a chance he’d be ready to go after the open date. I would not expect him this week.”

Senior inside receivers Levi Norwood (wrist) and Clay Fuller (clavicle) will both be out for the rest of preseason and possibly the first Big 12 game against Iowa State later this month. Norwood suffered a fractured wrist against SMU and Fuller broke his clavicle in fall camp.

Baylor (2-0) will face Buffalo on Friday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN at 7 p.m.