By Jeffrey Swindoll
Senior quarterback Bryce Petty threw three touchdowns and 277 passing yards in a 60-14 thrashing of the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. However, Petty was given attention on social media feeds not for his actions on the field, but for his actions from the postgame podium.
Petty entered the media press conference room at McLane Stadium after the game on Saturday in his usual manner, but his answers to the reporter’s questions were out of the ordinary. Petty answered every single question with little or no variation of, “We’re ready for OU.”
After about five questions, the media realized they weren’t getting much out of Petty. Speechless and seemingly dumbfounded the reporters refrained from asking more questions of Petty. Shortly after, Petty made his way back to the locker room, leaving the media with virtually no real questions about the Kansas game answered.
Twitter lit up with responses from all over the college football spectrum after Petty’s comments aired on TV and radio. Fans, reporters, players tried to figure out why Petty answered the questions the way he did.
Baylor head coach art Briles, perhaps the closest man to all things Baylor football, was asked after the Kansas game about what he thought about Petty’s robotic responses just minutes after the incident occurred. Briles first answered with a tongue-in-cheek comment, suggesting that he “should do the same” as Petty did for interviews.
“I’m proud that his focus and his energy and his vision and his direction are right there right now,” Briles said during Monday’s press conference. “Because he understands that it’s going to be a great college football game between two great college teams that are playing. So that’s exactly where he needs to be.”
At the Bears’ weekly press conference with the media on Monday, Briles expanded his thoughts on the “Ready for OU” responses from Petty.
“I don’t take anything from it,” Briles said. “I take he’s focused and ready and he’s in a no-nonsense attitude, which I appreciate whole-heartedly, and that’s the way our whole football team needs to be. We’ll play around in January. Right now it’s business.”
Some might say Petty made those remarks after the Kansas game due to frustration with his recent spell of incomplete passes and failing to link up with senior receiver Antwan Goodley.
“I don’t have any doubt as to the player Antwan is or our connection,” Petty said. “We’re going to link back up; it’s just a matter of time. It’s just about going out there and taking each play one play at a time. What we can’t do is get frustrated. We kind of both are in that sense because we want it to happen so bad, but he’s a great player on and off the field, so he’s got my back and I’ve got his. It’s going to happen sooner rather than later.”
Petty and Goodley were one of the nation’s top quarterback-receiver duos last season, but this season has not clicked in the way last year did, Petty said.
“I don’t see it,” Briles said. “Check the percentages of winning quarterbacks in Baylor history and I would guess he’s number one. I think his record is 17-3. It’d be 18-3 if he’d started against Northwestern (State).”
Petty recognizes the impact and confusion he caused with his “Ready for OU” responses. Baylor football’s Twitter account even started a hashtag for fans to use ahead of the critical road game in Norman, Okla. on Saturday – #ReadyForOU. All he really wanted to communicate was his excitement for the Bears’ game against the Sooners on Saturday, Petty said.
“I never wanted to come off like Kansas wasn’t important,” Petty said. “They’re a really good team, so anytime you get a big win like that, it’s huge for us, but I’m really excited about this week [against Oklahoma]. It’s a big opportunity for us and a big opportunity for them, so there’s a lot of hype around it. So I didn’t mean anything by it. I didn’t mean to come off as rude or obnoxious or mocking at all. Like I said, I’m excited.”