Gaudy numbers and lopsided scores are becoming the norm in Waco as the Baylor Bears roll to 6-0 and comfortably into the nation’s top 10
By Kendall Webb
WACO, TX – On a week when at least six of the top 11 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 lost or were on their way to losing, the No. 12 Baylor Bears had just another average performance.
Of course, for the Bears these days, that means 70 points and at least 700 yards of offense.
The Bears came into Saturday night’s homecoming game having scored at least 70 points in three of their previous five contests and 69 in a fourth. They made it four out of six in a 71-7 thrashing of the Iowa State Cyclones before the 13th largest crowd (46,825) in Floyd Casey Stadium history.
They also entered the game averaging 714.4 yards per game in total offense, and hit that number right on the mark with another 714 yards while holding the Cyclones to a mere 174. The advantage extended to special teams where Corey Coleman returned a kick 97 yards for a touchdown while Levi Norwood added a 52-yard touchdown on a punt return.
It was a complete team effort and further proof that this is isn’t just a football team anymore – it’s a football program that can replace stars like 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and last year’s standout senior quarterback Nick Florence without taking a step back.
“I think we have a very mature football team,” said Baylor head coach Art Briles. “As our program grows so do the people in it, and I think we have really started to see that this season.”
Bryce Petty led the Bears’ latest outburst with 343 yards on 23-of-31 passing, but the biggest star on the nation’s most prolific offense was wide receiver Antwan Goodley. The junior came in averaging five catches per game but hauled in 11 of Petty’s passes for 182 yards and both of the Bears’ touchdowns through the air. Lache Seastrunk chipped in with 118 yards rushing and two more touchdowns while Glasco Martin provided an early spark en route to 81 yards of his own on the ground.
Baylor struck first at the 9:28 mark when Goodley caught a four-yard touchdown on a fade route to the corner of the endzone. Exactly one minute later following a Cyclones’ fumble, Seastrunk scored from three yards out and the rout was on. By halftime the Bears would lead 37-0, and the only question at that point was whether Baylor was on course for 70 points and 700 yards again (they were).
Now the question becomes – how far does Baylor climb in the rankings? Or maybe a better question – where do they debut in the first BCS standings due to be released on Sunday?
Five of the nation’s top 11 rated teams including No. 3 Clemson, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 9 UCLA and No. 11 South Carolina all lost on Saturday to go along with No. 8 Louisville’s loss to UCF on Friday night. When you consider the fact that the No. 10 Miami (FL) Hurricanes needed a major rally to get past a 1-5 North Carolina Tar Heels’ squad Thursday night, the Bears might not just be a Top 10 team.
They might be Top 5.
Baylor Head Coach Art Briles Answers Questions from our Podcast Host Bryan Houston:
- Saturday’s matchup between the Bears and Cyclones was the 12th meeting in series history, and Baylor’s win evened the record at 6-6.
- Baylor’s 64-point margin of victory was the largest ever for the Bears in a conference game including their days in the Southwest Conference.
- The Bears’ win was their 10th in a row dating back to last season, tying a school record originally set in 1936-37.
- At 6-0, Baylor is bowl eligible for the fourth-straight season for the first time in school history.
- Baylor is 17-1 at home since the start of the 2011 season, and the Bears will move to the new Baylor Stadium in 2014.