The edge has been found. In a dominant and explosive first 30-minutes, pretty much everything went the Bears way. Up 42-10 at halftime, Baylor continued to pour it on the overmatched Owls in a blowout 63-17 win. Baylor improved to 3-0 as they prepare to begin Big 12 conference play next week against Texas Tech. It was a dominant effort by both the offense and the defense, that saw the backups enter the game early in the 3rd quarter. Simply put, the Bears set out to dominate this game and go into conference play on a high. They did that and more. 793 yards of offense, which was 547 yards more than what Rice could gain.
It started on both of the lines for the Bears, as the offensive line gave the Baylor runners huge holes to run through, while the Baylor defensive line just destroyed Rice. Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson was running for his life all game, as the Bears front-4 generated tremendous pressure. Add in the timely blitzes and the welcome return of Taylor Young, the Owls didn't have a chance.
Stats of the Game
- Baylor scored 21 points in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters
- Corey Coleman caught 3 touchdowns on the game, and has 8 touchdowns in 3-games
- Seth Russell with 6-passing touchdowns, tied a Baylor record (Russell, Bryce Petty and Blake Syzmanski)
- Russell had more passing touchdowns (6) than incompletions (4)
- Bayor had 793 yards on offense...wow
- The Bears defense held Rice to just 3.73 yards per play, while the Bears offense gained 10.17 yards per play
- Baylor outgained Rice by 547 yards
- The Bears defense accrued 5 sacks, a season high
Words of the Game
Offense - Explosive
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
This was about as good as an offense can look. In the first half, the Bears had 7 drives. 6 touchdowns later, with one 3-and-out mixed in, and the Bears had 42 and a dominant lead. Seth Russell (outside of two inaccurate throws in the one 3-and-out) was nearly perfect. 12-16 for 277 yards and 6 touchdowns. That is just ridiculous. His yardage on the 6 passing touchdowns was 188 yards, more than Rice had passing (152 yards). The running game gashed the overmatched Owls front consistently, averaging over 8 yards per carry. Baylor once again had two running backs over 100 yards, as Shock Linwood (158 yards, 9.9 yards per carry, and 1 TD) and Terence Williams (111 yards, 5.8 ypc, 1 TD) led the way. Baylor could do anything they wanted offensively this game, as their top 2 running backs averaged over 10 yards per carry.
Defense - Attacking
With Taylor Young back on the field, the Bears had a full compliment of players. Boy did it help. The Bears defense attacked all game, and kept putting pressure on the Owls offense. Baylor had 5 sacks on the Owls, and about a dozen more pressures on the quarterback. With a strong performance by the defensive line, the Bears would add to the pressure with timely blitzes by Taylor Young and Grant Campbell. Both of the touchdown scores by Rice were on short fields, with one setup by a long kick return and the other on a turnover. Rice had just one drive over 50 yards (a 60-yard drive on their first possession for a field goal). The Owls completed just 11 of 21 passes on the game, and averaged just 2.1 yards per run attempt.
Tweets of the Game
Play of the Game
1st Quarter - 1st and 10 from Baylor 43
With the Bears second possesion just one play in (a Jay Lee reception for 17 yards), the Bears lined up with four wide receivers, and Shock Linwood to the left of Seth Russell in a shotgun formation. The Bears had two receivers on either side of the field, with Davion Hall lined up in the slot, and Jay Lee on the outside to Russell's right. Lee had a Rice cornerback linedup 4 yards off of him, with a Rice linebacker coming to line up on Hall. The Owls did have a safety behind those primary defenders, around 10-12 yards deep. The play-call was simple, as Hall ran a go/stop route depending on the coverage, while Lee ran a post route, going under Hall and causing the defenders to switch. That put a linebacker on Lee, who easily outran him. Seth Russell read the play perfectly, and threw a beautiful pass just over the shoulder of the Rice defender. With the linebacker in on position to see the pass, Russell could be aggressive with the throw. Jay Lee caught the ball at the 37-yard line and easily outran the Rice defense for a long touchdown.
Players of the Game
Offense - Corey Coleman - 6 catches, 100 yards, 3 touchdowns
I might have to change the name of this to Player of the game not named Corey Coleman. The junior wide reciever once was again the best player on the field. Rice simply could not stop him. Another 3-touchdowns, 100 yards and 6 catches. In just a half of football. Insane. That doesn't even include a stunning punt return for a touchdown that was called back due to a penalty. He scored in every way. Short pass where he just explodes past the defense? Sure. How about a perfectly run deep slant route and getting in front of the defender for an easy touchdown? Why not. What about beating great double-coverage and simply going up and getting the ball over the two defenders? Done and done. Coleman is the best wide receiver in the nation, and with his performances so far, he might be entering national award lists.
Honorable Mention: Seth Russell (12-16, 277 yards, 6 touchdowns, 27 rushing yards), Baylor offensive line
Defense - Travon Blanchard - 6 tackles
The Bears starting nickel back was all over the field Saturday. He finished with 6 tackles, but was involved in pretty much every big play. Blanchard brings much more athleticism to the position for the Bears this year, and used it to cover running backs, slot receivers, and tight ends at times. He almost had an interception on a pass over the middle, and was all over the field making plays. It was a breakout type of game for the sophomore.
Honorable Mention: Taylor Young (4 tackles, 1 sack), Shawn Oakman (5 tackles, 1 sack)
The Bears needed this one. Yes, they won big in both of their games this season, but it wasn't clean. It wasn't what the Bears needed to see as they enter conference play. This was domination. This was great execution on offense, and a stifling defense that took away the Rice rushing attack. Baylor came out aggressive on both sides of the ball and took it to Rice. This game was never truly in doubt, even with Rice scoring a touchdown after a great kickoff return to get within 4 points. The Baylor offense could do anything it wanted, and proved it. Art Briles and his Bears had their best game of the non-conference season, avoided any serious injuries and appear to be ready for Texas Tech next week.