The Baylor Bears continued their winning ways this weekend as they defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 45-27. The Bears continued their nation-leading home winning streak, having won 20 consecutive games.
While the win put the Bears’ surging record at 7-0, the win did not come without a cost. During the fourth quarter, Baylor junior quarterback Seth Russell was knocked out of the game with a neck injury.
Freshman Jarrett Stidham entered the game and was effective, throwing a touchdown pass on his only attempt.
For the Bears, the loss of Russell is massive. Russell has been among one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, leading the country in passer efficiency while throwing for 2,104 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Russell has decided to undergo season-ending neck surgery and the reins of the offense will be passed over to Stidham.
The Stephenville product has performed well in garbage time this season, completing 86 percent of his passes for six touchdowns.
“Seth exemplifies the spirit and will of our football team, and through this our team will keep that spirit alive and well for him,” said head coach Art Briles.
On a positive note, Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman captured the Big 12 defensive player of the week for his performance over the weekend.
Oakman recorded a season high seven tackles, two of which were for loss. Oakman also recorded a sack on the game, extending his school record for career sacks to 17.
Offensively, Corey Coleman also broke a Baylor career record as well. Coleman recorded 6 catches for 85 yards and two scores, bringing his career touchdown count to 31. The 31 career touchdown catches breaks Kendall Wright’s previous school record of 30.
“I feel excited. I talked to Kendall [recently] and we were talking about it. It’s just a blessing to even be in the same category as Kendall,” said Coleman.
Coleman has also broken Wright’s single season touchdown receptions record this year as well. On the season, Coleman has now registered 47 catches for 962 yards and 18 touchdowns.
With rain coming down all game, the Bears found a way to win in the bad conditions. Running back Shock Linwood was held to just 41 first quarter yards but would explode the rest of the game, eventually ending with 171 yards on 27 carries.
While the Bears posted season lows in both yards (485) and points (45), the Bears feel as though they are where they want to be coming into their second bye week of the season.
“We’re 7-0 right now, so I think so. But like I said earlier, there’s just those little things to clean up. I think this is one of our less clean games across the board. But I am glad it’s going into the bye week,” said senior left tackle Spencer Drango.
The Bears will enter the bye week with a daunting task ahead of them. According to ESPN’s football power index, the Bears face the nation’s seventh toughest remaining schedule.
With the health of the Bears in question and the loss of one of the best players in the country fresh on their minds, this bye week may be exactly what the doctor ordered.