On a night where First Responders, both from the shootings in Dallas and locally in Waco, were honored at McLane Stadium, the Baylor Bears eliminated the jitters early, compiling 498 yds of total offense, including 223 through the air and 275 on the ground as they cruised to a 55-7 victory over the Northwestern State Demons.
The offense came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, proving it is still capable of putting up big numbers on the scoreboard.
“Scoring as many points as we did, our offense is the same,” senior running back Shock Linwood said.”We’re still scoring fast, not as fast we want to be. Just scoring points and winning games.”
Less than five minutes into the game, sophomore running back Terrence Williams capped off a 6 play 59 yard drive with a 13 yard touchdown scamper to put the Bears up 7-0.
Senior quarterback Seth Russell, playing in his first game since returning from a neck injury, found his groove early and often. He hooked up on a 4th down 4 yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman tight end Sam Techlenburg. Later in the first half, he found junior wide receiver KD Cannon for a 6 yard touchdown, a 5 yard scoring strike to junior tight end Jordan Feuerbacher, and a 10 yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Pooh Stricklin.
Russell was pulled late in the first half, but finished 14 of 20 passing with 163 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Bears added two field goals in the first half from junior kicker Chris Callahan. He connected on kicks of 23 and 33 yards en route to a 48-0 halftime lead.
Despite the effectiveness of Russell and the Baylor passing attack, its ground attack was equally as impressive. Senior running back Shock Linwood tallied 97 yards on just 9 attempts while only playing the first half. Sophomore running back Terrence Williams found the end zone twice in the first half, on runs of 13 yards and 1 yard.
The second half started with Baylor continuing to find success on the ground, as redshirt freshman JaMychal Hasty carried most of the load for the Bears. However, Baylor punched in its seventh touchdown of the game when true freshman Zach Smith found redshirt freshman inside wide receiver Blake Lynch for a 12 yard touchdown, his first as a Bear.
The Demons failed to ever getting anything going offensively. Baylor swarmed the Demon ball carriers all night long and made it difficult for senior quarterback Brooks Haack to get comfortable in the pocket.
Grobe was pleased with the effort he saw from his defense tonight.
“Phil [Bennett] felt really good about our defense,” Grobe said. “I know we lost some players and some bigger guys, but Phil felt good about it. One of the keys for us tonightwas our defensive line. I felt like those guys up front played pretty good.”
The Demons only accounted for 13 total yards in the first half and finished with just 78 for the game. The defense also forced Northwestern State into 13 punts and were just 1 for 13 on third down conversions.
Northwestern State found the end zone late in the third quarter when Haack capped off an 8 play, 45 yard drive with a 3 yard touchdown run.
The Bears look to improve on tonight’s win when they host the Mustangs of SMU next Saturday at McLane Stadium. One area the Bears will seek improvement is by cutting pack on penalties. The Bears were penalized 12 times for 93 yards, including a costly holding penalty which nullified a special teams touchdown. Northwestern State gets back to work when they host Incarnate Word on Thursday.