Baylor-Buffalo Preview

(AP) – See KD run. See KD catch.

That is what Baylor coach Art Briles saw when he watched KD Cannon play a high school game last fall. Now the speedy receiver is already having an impact for the eighth-ranked Bears.

”Not surprised one bit,” Briles said.

Cannon burst past the Northwestern State secondary for TD catches of 50, 81 and 42 yards in the first quarter Saturday. That pushed the Bears (2-0) to a big early lead on way to a 70-6 victory.

”I never dreamed of nothing like that. Coming into the game, Coach said I was going to get more playing time than I did last week. That was all I was expecting,” Cannon said. ”I wasn’t expecting to score three touchdowns in the first quarter.”

The rout moved Baylor up two spots in the Top 25 on Sunday.

Even without playing in the second half against the Demons, Cannon finished with six catches for 223 yards, the second most in school history. The Baylor record is held by current Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, who had 17 catches for 314 yards and two TDs.

Through two college games, the 18-year-old Cannon has eight catches for 282 yards and four touchdowns. That’s an average of 35.3 yards per catch, even with only a 1-yard gain on his last catch against NSU.

After two overwhelming victories to open their new campus riverfront stadium, outscoring SMU and NSU by a combined 115-6, the Bears have another short week of preparation before playing Friday night at Buffalo (1-1). That is the first of three consecutive road games, with an open date also in the span, before the next game at McLane Stadium on Oct. 11 against TCU.

Cannon caught all his passes Saturday night from backup quarterback Seth Russell, who completed 16 of 25 for 438 yards and five touchdowns while playing only the first half. The 438 yards passing were the most ever for the Bears in a half – and earned Russell co-Big 12 offensive player of the week honors – as were Cannon’s three TD catches.

Senior quarterback Bryce Petty, the reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year, was out after cracking two small bones in his back in the first series of the series opener. However, Briles said Tuesday that Petty would play after watching him for two days in practice this week.

The Bears were also without Antwan Goodley (groin) and Levi Norwood (wrist) on Saturday after they also got hurt in the season opener, while fellow senior receiver Clay Fuller is still recovering from a broken collarbone. Briles says Goodley is 50-50 to play this week.

That has just provided extra opportunities early for Cannon and fellow freshman Davion Hall, who has 11 catches for 164 yards and a TD.

”You just never know what’s going to happen. Just like AG (Goodley) going down last game. Just had to be ready for it, to fill in, anytime,” Hall said. ”I was just glad I was ready and I learned from them. Just getting better every day.”

Buffalo is coming off a 47-39 loss at Army on Saturday as the Black Knights snapped a five-game losing streak. The Bulls gave up 341 rushing yards.

Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata threw three interceptions, all of which Army turned into touchdowns. Licata was 34 of 49 for 396 yards and five touchdowns, but the Black Knights won despite committing 12 penalties for 105 yards.

Trailing 47-17 midway through the fourth, the Bulls staged a furious 22-point rally before falling one possession short.

”You’ve got to play each down,” coach Jeff Quinn said. ”You’ve got to be sound in everything that you do, and we weren’t able to do that consistently. Bottom line is how we responded offensively.”

Baylor leads the series with Buffalo 3-0, taking the most recent meeting last Sept. 7 by a 70-13 score behind Petty’s 338 yards passing and two touchdowns on just 13 completions. Goodley had four catches for 124 yards and a score.

The only meeting at Buffalo was a 34-21 Bears win in 2007.