By Cody Soto
The Bears are back in business.
No. 10 Baylor football came out roaring after suffering its first loss of the season and rolled over Kansas for a 60-14 win in McLane Stadium during the university’s 105th homecoming on Saturday.
Baylor (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) scored in each quarter and limited the Jayhawks (2-6, 0-5 Big 12) to two touchdown passes and 16 rushing yards in the win. The Bears rallied for 669 total offensive yards behind a dynamic passing (343) and rushing game (326).
“I thought we played well; I liked our attitude, and that was a thing we worked on the last two weeks,” head coach Art Briles said. “We came out and played with a lot of passion, a lot of effort and a lot of energy.”
Senior quarterback Bryce Petty threw 15 completions for 277 yards against the Jayhawks, and sophomore quarterback Seth Russell got some action in the second half. Russell was 6-for-9 for 66 yards.
The Baylor defense stepped up Saturday. The team forced five turnovers and added three sacks in the win for Baylor.
“We felt like we were dominating upfront defensively,” Briles said. “Those guys all played extremely well and that’s how you win.”
Sophomore running back Devin Chafin plowed his way through Kansas and racked up 112 yards on 14 carries after an ankle injury early in the season. Sophomore running backs Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson added 81 and 52 yards in the win.
“The win was huge for us,” Chafin said. “With the loss at West Virginia, it felt good to go out and have a good game both offensively and defensively. It was a good boost for the team.”
Baylor limited penalties in the game and only had six penalties for 54 yards opposed to their record-setting 215 penalty yards against West Virginia two weeks before.
“It’s critical to reduce penalties,” Briles said. “Penalties are drive killers or drive sustainers depending on what side of the ball you are on. You’ve got to live with it whether it’s against you or for you. If it is for you, you’ve got to take advantage of it.”
Baylor scored 20 points in the opening quarter behind a big 72-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Corey Coleman and two 1-yard runs from both Chafin and Linwood in the first quarter.
Coleman finished with a career-high 167 receiving yards on three receptions for the Bears.
“I am excited to be back and redeem myself after the loss [to West Virginia],” Coleman said. “Like Coach Briles said, you have to play fast and expect good things to happen. It’s our job to get the ball and go win.”
Baylor struggled to turn short field opportunities into touchdowns in the second quarter but freshman kicker Chris Callahan to nailed four field goals and put points on the board. The Bears used powerful defense to head into the locker room with a 39-7 lead at halftime.
The Bears came out of the half fast with a 49-yard pass to Coleman and a 10-yard throw to senior receiver Levi Norwood by Petty.
“Coming out of halftime, it definitely felt like we played a lot better,” Norwood said. “[In the second quarter], I wish those field goals were touchdowns, but we definitely picked up a lot from where we left off last week.”
Russell was the only player to score in the final 15 minutes with a 4-yard run after an 83-yard drive for the Bears. Baylor defense forced a turnover with the ball at the 2-yard line to give the ball back to the Bears with 7:43 left in the game. Baylor finished with an impressive run game by junior running back Silas Nacita, and freshman quarterback Chris Johnson took a knee to give the Bears the 60-14 win.
As one of the final events of the weekend, the win for Baylor football added to magic of the university’s homecoming, Briles said.
“I don’t know if we could have ordered up a better atmosphere from a weather standpoint to a crowd standpoint for our game,” Briles said. “A lot of people view homecoming as a special day and a special time, and it’s nice to have the fulfillment of winning a football game to go along with everything else that’s positive on that day.”
The Bears will face No. 16 Oklahoma at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Norman, Okla. The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.