Baylor removed starters from Saturday’s game after two quarters and still increased its 45-point halftime lead over Kansas to 66-7 before the game’s end.
Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham completed all seven passes he attempted in the third quarter, including a pair of touchdowns throws. In the fourth quarter the Bears let off the gas, throwing only three times.
Baylor finished with 644 yards of offense. Starting quarterback Seth Russell was 18-for-27 passing with 246 yards and three touchdowns. Shock Linwood led the Bears with 135 rushing yards and a score in 13 carries, and Corey Coleman amassed 108 receiving yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.
“They were on their game,” Kansas head coach David Beaty said. “Seth played really well, I thought his receivers made plays, and then their running game’s pretty good, man. Their offensive line’s really good, they do a good job of moving you around, and they created some holes, and they got that offense rolling early.”
Kansas managed only 227 yards, and freshman quarterback Ryan Willis completed 20-of-36 passing attempts for 158 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
For all practical purposes, Baylor put the game on ice in the first half.
In the first 30 minutes, the undefeated Bears racked up 425 yards, 298 of which came in the first quarter. None of Baylor’s seven first-half scoring drives took more than two minutes and 16 seconds. The Jayhawks trailed 52-7 at halftime.
“That hurts,” Kansas safety Fish Smithson said. “Even if you give up 50 in the game, that hurts. But if you see it at halftime, you definitely have got to come in there and calm guys down and also pick guys up, just come in there and let them know that we’ve still got a whole second half to play.”
Of the many first-half Baylor scores, the most memorable came when 410-pound tight end LaQuan McGowan tumbled into the end zone after hauling in an 18-yard pass. That play gave the Bears a 38-7 advantage with 11:41 remaining in the half.
Baylor scored first in the game, less than three minutes in, but the Jayhawks showed some signs of life early with Willis at the helm. In the team’s first drive, Willis nailed back-to-back passes of 22 and 36 yards. The second tied the game, 7-7, with 9:27 remaining in the first quarter.
Kansas had an opportunity to stay at least somewhat competitive midway through the first quarter, when it landed great field position thanks to a 43-yard return by Ryan Schadler, but the Jayhawks went three-and-out on the ensuing possession. Another chance to begin to close the gap came near the end of the first quarter, when Willis sustained a drive by making scrambling on third-and-long and completing a 19-yard pass. On the next play, however, running back Taylor Cox fumbled.
Throughout the first half, Kansas had no answer for the Baylor offense. To compound that problem, Willis, who had for the most part been a bright spot for Kansas, committed a fumble with fewer than four minutes left in the half, and the Bears ran it back 30 yards for a touchdown that made the score 52-7.
“Ryan dropped a snap and instead of having some poise there and being able to live to play another down, he tried to make something happen, and it came out, and they scooped it up and scored,” Beaty said. “Those are things that we can’t do to our defense.”
“They’re a good football team,” Beaty added, “but I think we made some things easier on them at times, and that’s something we control.”
Aside from the fumble by Cox, Beaty seemed pleased with Cox, who rushed for 45 yards in 19 carries. Beaty also praised Cox for his encouragement of teammates during a painfully lopsided game.
“He never let those guys get down,” Beaty said. “He literally refused to let anybody look negative in that huddle, which was something that, man, I’m so proud of that kid for that. And we need it. We need that. From a senior, guy that’s been around for a long time, that was good to see.”
Tight end Kent Taylor agreed that Cox’s leadership efforts have been invaluable.
“Especially when you got some young guys out there that are looking at the scoreboard and they see the score, they’re just getting down, so it’s nice to have somebody older that they look up to saying, ‘Come on, guys, we can still play,’ and all that stuff,” Taylor said. “It’s definitely helpful.”
No. 3 BAYLOR 66, KANSAS 7
BAY: Coleman 11 pass from Russell (Callahan kick), 12:44.
KU: Sims 36 pass from Willis (Bartolotta kick), 9:27.
BAY: Coleman 11 pass from Russell (Callahan kick), 7:33.
BAY: Russell 5 run (Callahan kick), 4:42.
BAY: FG Callahan 31, 1:45.
BAY: Linwood 1 run (Callahan kick), 13:58.
BAY: McGowan 18 pass from Russell (Callahan kick), 11:41.
BAY: Jefferson 5 run (Callahan kick), 5:46.
BAY: Howard 30 fumble return (Callahan kick), 3:45.
BAY: Zamora 37 pass from Stidham (Callahan kick), 8:03.
BAY: Hall 30 pass from Stidham (Callahan kick), 6:16.
Pnt/Int Ret Yds
RUSHING: Baylor, Linwood 13-135, Jefferson 15-79, T.Williams 10-65, Russell 5-6, Coleman 1-(minus 2), Team 1-(minus 2). Kansas, Cox 19-45, T.Martin 7-24, Mann 4-8, Kinner 2-6, Schadler 1-1, Bates IV 1-0, Willis 5-(minus 15).
PASSING: Baylor, Russell 18-27-0-246, Stidham 9-10-0-117. Kansas, Willis 20-36-1-158.
RECEIVING: Baylor, Coleman 7-108, Cannon 4-46, Platt 4-36, Zamora 2-44, Hawthorne 2-23, Linwood 2-17, Jefferson 2-2, Hall 1-30, Lee 1-30, McGowan 1-18, C.Johnson 1-9. Kansas, Neal 4-26, Booker 3-39, Cox 3-16, Patrick 3-15, Moore 2-14, Crawley 2-7, Sims 1-36, Barbel 1-4, Mann 1-1.