Baylor opened its season with a thrilling upset, but coach Art
Briles’ plan was to ignore his team’s first game no matter the
That could benefit the 19th-ranked Bears as they try to avoid a
letdown during their first matchup in 64 years with in-state
opponent Stephen F. Austin on Saturday night.
Robert Griffin threw a career-best five touchdown passes, and
Baylor scored 47 points in the first three quarters against
then-No. 14 TCU on Sept. 2. The Bears, though, also blew a 24-point
lead over the defending Rose Bowl champion before securing a 50-48
win on Aaron Jones’ 37-yard field goal with 1:04 to play.
After celebrating with a large portion of its home crowd, Baylor
(1-0) got an extra week to savor that victory, get healthy and hit
the reset button on its season.
“If you ask our guys what their record is, they’d say 0-0,”
Briles said. “We feel like our 2011 season starts this week against
SFA, and that’s been our plan all along.”
Griffin will try to build on a sparkling season debut – 359
yards on 21-of-27 passing and a key 15-yard reception to set up the
winning field goal – with a strong performance against the
Lumberjacks (1-1). The junior has thrown for more than 350 yards in
back-to-back games once in his career, against Kansas and Texas
Tech last October.
Stephen F. Austin enters this game ranked 13th in the FCS
coaches poll after a 34-23 home defeat to No. 2 Northern Iowa last
The Lumberjacks have been outscored 153-0 in three matchups with
Baylor, which enters with its highest ranking since being No. 16 on
Oct. 14, 1991.
This will be the Bears’ first home game as a ranked team since
Nov. 16, 1991.
“We’re going to play at a high level every game this season,”
running back Terrance Ganaway said. “We’re going to match the
intensity or maybe even exceed the intensity we played with
“And when we do that, we get on a roll. And it’s hard to beat a
team that’s on a roll.”
Baylor could use another strong game from Ganaway, who had 120
yards and a touchdown in his second career start. The senior had
rushed for less than 300 yards in each of his previous two seasons
after gaining 550 as a freshman.
“Terrance did exactly what we thought he would do because that
was his preparation,” Briles said. “He prepared his mind and his
body followed. Talent’s never been an issue with Terrance; it’s
been mental structure.”
Kendall Wright also will try to build on an impressive
season-opening performance and extend his receptions streak to 39
Wright’s 12 catches matched a school record – that he already
shared – and his 189 yards were eight shy of tying another mark.
The senior had two touchdown receptions and also was effective
throwing the ball. Wright opened the scoring with a 40-yard TD pass
to Terrance Williams, who had 126 yards receiving with two scores,
and connected with Griffin on the 15-yard play that set up the
Wright needs 122 yards and two touchdowns to become the Bears’
all-time leading receiver in both categories. He already has a
school-record 206 receptions.
Sophomore Brady Attaway leads the Lumberjacks offense, having
completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 550 yards. However, he had
a career-worst three interceptions last Saturday after throwing for
a career-high four TDs in an 82-6 season-opening rout of Division
Stephen F. Austin, seeking a program-best third straight FCS
playoff berth, is 2-10 against FBS opponents with its previous
victory coming at Louisiana-Monroe in 2003.
Baylor is 18-1 all-time against current members of the Southland
Conference and is playing against a team from that league for the
sixth straight season.