No. 5 Bears in control against Rice, lead 42-10

Junior running back Shock Linwood stumbles over a Rice defender during the Bears' game against the Owls on Sept. 26, 2015, at McLane Stadium. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

Baylor leads 42-10 over the Rice Owls thanks to a defensive shutout in the second quarter and three touchdowns from junior receiver Corey Coleman. The return of starting linebacker Taylor Young provided a big spark for the Bears defense in the first half.

The Baylor defense was able to limit Rice to three points on the Owls’ opening drive. Rice threatened to score a touchdown early, but senior quarterback Driphus Jackson overthrew an open receiver in the end zone, forcing an Owls field goal.

Baylor wouldn’t trail for long, as they put together a seven play, 75 yard drive to take the lead 7-3. The Bears’ stuck to the running game early and were able to gain most of the yards on the ground. The drive culminated on an impressive play from sophomore wide receiver KD Cannon on a 26-yard touchdown reception.

Rice’s second possession was disrupted by senior defensive end Shawn Oakman. The All-American defensive end recorded a tackle for loss, sack, and forced a holding penalty to insure a Rice punt.

Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and the offense made quick work of the Owls’ three and out. Junior quarterback Seth Russell found senior wide receiver Jay Lee for two catches, 77 yards, and a touchdown.

After Baylor took control of the game 14-3, Rice would answer with a 74-yard kick return. The Owls took full advantage of the good field position by scoring in one play to narrow the Bears’ lead to 14-10.

The quick score seemed to give the visiting team some momentum, as they would force the Bears to a quick three and out on their next possession.

Rice appeared to be headed for another score, before sophomore nickelback Travon Blanchard came up with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. The play from Blanchard marked a turning point on the defense, as they would hold the Owls to 10 points in the half.

From that point on, it was all Baylor in the first half.

Baylor capitalized on the turnover by going four plays for 49 yards and a touchdown to go up 21-10 to end the first quarter.

Junior running back Shock Linwood helped the Bears keep their foot on the gas pedal to start the second quarter. Linwood received five straight runs to eventually score an 11-yard touchdown, giving Baylor a 28-10 lead.

The next two possessions for Baylor would be all Corey Coleman. Fresh off his record-breaking performance two weeks ago against Lamar, the junior wide receiver would haul in two more scores to give him three touchdowns in the first half. His final score put the Bears up 42-10.

The Baylor defense came up big on the final play of the first half with a blocked field goal by Ryan Reid.

Head coach Art Briles had mentioned during the week that the Bears needed to start faster and play more dominant on defense. After Baylor’s defense continually came up with stops and kept the Rice offense off the field, the Bears go into intermission with their largest lead this season.