This was a Staples game to me. That was easy; REAL easy. Outside of the first play of the game, a gorgeous flea-flicker pass from Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata to wide receiver Alex Neutz who caught the pass despite Terrell Burt running over him for a 57 yard gain. Neutz was dominant for most of the game, catching 6 balls for 197 yards and 1 touchdown. With the Bulls now on the Baylor 21 yard line, it took them 7 more plays to get on the board and lead the Bears 7-0 with 11:22 remaining in the opening stanza.
There was no worry, no heartburn, no grabbing of hats of the heads and twisting them like a wet rag. None of that, as this is the new Baylor program. 7 points is not enough to beat the Bears, and wouldn't be enough on that day. With a dominating performance by an offense that is possibly the most explosive in Baylor history; the Bears were just about to get started. The next eight times the Bears would have possession of the ball, they would score a touchdown on their way to 56-13 halftime lead.
Fun Stats of the Game
|Score By Quarters||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||F|
- Baylor's scoring drives in the first half were 54 seconds, 51 seconds, 76 seconds, 67 seconds, 103 seconds, 114 seconds, 16 seconds, and 20 seconds for a total of 501 seconds or just 8 minutes and 21 seconds.
-In those 501 seconds, the Bears scored 56 points or a point every 8.94 seconds.
-Bryce Hager's 91 yard fumble return is the second longest fumble return in Baylor history, behind only Charles McClahanan's 96 yard touchdown against Missouri in 1974 during the Miracle on the Brazos season.
-Baylor had 781 yards of total offense, a new high in program history. The Bears only had possession for 26:18, and averaged a yard every 2.02 seconds of having possession.
-The Baylor defense allowed just 1.7 yards per carry on the ground for Buffalo
-Baylor had over two times as many yards as the Bulls did (363 compared to 781).
Words of the Game
Offense – Insane
The numbers that we put up in this game and the last are just insane. Two games in a row where we set records for scoring at Floyd Casey Stadium. Two games that are pretty much over before the band marches onto the field for a second show. The Bears racked up 781 yards, another school record. The Bears averaged 9.8 yards per play. Think about that a little. They almost got a first down on EVERY play in terms of yardage average. Their 9 offensive series that led to touchdowns took an average time of 71 seconds and none were longer than a 1:54 off the clock.
Bryce Petty was near perfect, completing 13 of 16 passes for 338 yards, and we saw him run the ball by design twice, which led to a very nice 8 yard touchdown run. Tevin Reese was running through and past the Buffalo secondary all game. In the second quarter, the Bulls backed off to about 15 yards off the line of scrimmage to make sure they kept him in front of them. Reese and Antwan Goodley averaged 31.75 yards per reception and their 254 combined receiving yards was just 26 fewer than Buffalo gained as a team through the air.
Defense – Sturdy
After the first quarter was over, and the Bears had given up two touchdowns resulting in 13 points, I thought that this paragraph would not be nearly as positive. Backslide, trouble, and worried were all the words in my head. The Bears were struggling to cover the one man that could actually catch a ball down the field in Alex Neutz who really is a very good wide receiver. Too bad he has to play in a passing offense like that. The smart play would have been to double him from the start and make someone else, heck anyone else beat us. But what if the Bears defensive staff wanted to see I we COULD cover him one on one. We are going to see better wide receivers in the Big 12, and especially ones with much better passing attacks to perform in.
In these one-on-one matchups, the Bears struggled especially early in the game. Joe Williams and K. J. Morton were both burned by him; however the Baylor coaches put Xavien Howard into the game, who appeared to do a much better job against Neutz. He even added a very nice interception in the second quarter.
But the passing defense might have been hampered as well by the continued focus on the Buffalo running game, and you have to admit that the defensive game plan worked as the Bulls only gained 83 yards rushing on 49 attempts. Their star offensive player Branden Oliver was held to just 32 yards on 13 carries. The Bulls running game never got going at any point, and the only way they could move the ball was through long passes.
Play of the Game
Lache Seastrunk rushes to the right for 19 yards, down at the 1 yard line
It didn't result in a touchdown, at least after the review of the play, but what Lache Seastrunk did here was a statement run. He is not a guy that has to run around you and make you miss; though he can definitely do that with ease.
This play was a standard second and 2 play, with Lache Seastrunk to Bryce Petty's right in a shot-gun formation. The play was the standard look the Bears give when doing a zone-read option run, but really, this was just a handoff. It was the standard "quick" play run that they do frequently either on first-down, or second and short to catch the defense napping.
On this play though, Lache got the ball and veered to the left, first probing for a hole behind the stars of the Baylor offensive line. However, the strong side of the line opened up as Jordan Najvar did an excellent job of opening pup a cutback lane along with Kelvin Palmer just abusing the man across from him. With the new running lade wide open, it was now the Lache show. He met his first "obstacle" at around the 14 yard line, where he simply lowered his left shoulder into a Buffalo defensive back and knocked him over. With three other Bull defenders around him now, he darted to his right and the sideline where his amazing acceleration allowed him to separate from two of the defenders, while the third tried desperately to keep the great angle that he had.
Around the 10 yard line, Seastrunk hit his top end speed, and as he was turning the corner at full tilt, he leaped from the four yard line with the ball extended, piercing the pylon as he crossed the goal line. On further review though, a single toe was out of bounds on his launch to the end-zone, bringing the ball back to the one, where he would get his touchdown on the next play.
Players of the Game
Offense – Lache Seastrunk with 150 yards rushing on 17 carries and 3 touchdowns
It is becoming very evident that the Bears have a tremendous offense loaded with weapons. But it is also quite clear that the best and most deadly of those weapons is Seastrunk. He was again dangerous all over the field, averaging almost 9 yards per carry and getting 3 touchdowns. If we ever get to see him run against a tired defense at the end of the game, he could look even faster (if that is possible). Right now, Lache is backing up his big words over the offseason with his play, as he is the best player on the best offense in the country.
Honorable Mention – Bryce Petty (13-16, 338 yards, 3 Total TDs), Tevin Reese (4 catches, 130 yards, 1 TD), Antwan Goodley (4 catches, 124 yards, 1 TD), Shock Linwood (12 rushes, 76 yards, 2 TDs)
Defense – Sam Holl with 9 tackles including 2.5 for loss, 1 sack, and a forced fumble
The senior nickel back was all over the place, including making the back breaking play late in stripping the ball from Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata while causing a fumble that linebacker Bryce Hager would return for a 91 yard touchdown. But even not counting that play, Holl was all over the place. He led the Bears in tackles for loss and tackles overall. He was the leader of an excellent day for the Baylor defense.
Schedule strength matters, you have to keep telling yourself that. The Bears first two games have been against two very overmatched teams. But to see how they handled and just thoroughly dominated the first two opponents has to have you nodding "yes" as much as a bobble on a bumpy road. The Bears have scored 139 in just 120 minutes of football. Think about that. They are +126 in terms of scoring margin through two games. I mean, come on. That is just pure and utter silliness, even against the level of competition that the Bears have seen on the other sideline.
In both games so far, the score at halftime could pose for the final score in most "blowouts" and leave fans quite happy. Up 56-13 against Buffalo and 38-0 against Wofford, both of those would beat the Vegas spread and move the Bears on. Against Buffalo though, it just felt more real. That was a better team, and one that fought and battled against Ohio State, but could never get their footing against the Bears.