LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) For a few minutes at least, Kansas held sixth-ranked Baylor’s offense in check.
The Jayhawks forced Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty into four incompletions in five attempts to begin the game, leading to consecutive punts. But the problem was that barely any time elapsed.
Once Baylor got the ball for its third possession, about 5 minutes into the game, the Bears marched 76 yards in a little more than a minute for their first points of the game.
Article continues below ...
They didn’t stop scoring, either, in a 59-14 rout Saturday night.
“What we were trying to do is keep everything in front of us and play a little bit more bend but don’t break,” Kansas coach Charlie Weis said. “After the first couple drives where we stopped them I think that the biggest problem we had was missed tackles.”
Indeed, Baylor’s offense looked smooth as Petty threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns in fewer than three quarters, Tevin Reesehauled in two of the TD passes and Heisman Trophy candidate Lache Seastrunk ran for 109 yards and a score.
The Jayhawks’ offense, meanwhile, is still playing musical chairs.
Jake Heaps began the game at quarterback but was replaced by freshman Montell Cozart after misfiring on his first six throws. The two went back-and-forth the rest of the game.
Heaps finished with 85 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-19 passing, while Cozart finished 4 of 14 for 65 yards for Kansas (2-5, 0-4), which has lost 25 consecutive Big 12 games.
“I don’t know who will play more on a weekly basis,” Weis said, “but I think we have to get them both ready to play against Texas.”
The Bears (7-0, 4-0) piled up 500 yards of offense in taking a 38-0 lead by halftime, and then relaxed as coach Art Briles pulled many of his starters in the third quarter.
“We went out there and got ahead of ourselves, tried to do too much,” Reese said, “but after the first two series, we got the jitters out of our system, we just relaxed and performed.”
The nation’s highest-scoring offense still finished with 743 yards, and eight of its nine scoring drives took fewer than 2 minutes. Four different Baylor players had touchdown runs – Petty among them as the Bears started 7-0 for the first time since 1980.
The once-downtrodden program hasn’t lost since Nov. 10, 2012, at Oklahoma.
“They spread us wide,” Kansas defensive lineman Keon Stowers said. “What their receivers do, they run routes according to your set as a defensive back. So if you’re set outside, they’re going to run an inside route, even if it wasn’t called before that. They do a really good job. They’ve got a lot of experienced guys there.”
Kansas actually held the Bears’ dazzling offense to punts on its first two possessions, and a paltry crowd bundled up against the chilly autumn air had reason for hope.
Baylor dashed it all in four brutally efficient offensive series.
Petty started the scoring rush when he threw a 62-yard strike to Reese. After the Jayhawks went three-and-out, Seastrunk got loose on a hip-swiveling scamper over the right side that turned into a 29-yard touchdown run. Kansas went three-and-out again, and Glasco Martin capped an 82-yard drive with a TD run. Petty finished off the scoring burst with a TD run of his own.
In a span of roughly 12 minutes, the Bears had built a 28-0 lead.
Baylor tacked on a field goal later in the second quarter, and a 25-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Reese with 2 minutes remaining made it 38-0 at the break.
It also sent the few fans that were left in the stands scattering for the exits.
There was hardly anybody left when Corey Coleman ran down the sideline and caught Petty’s 49-yard pass for another touchdown in the second half. That was enough for Briles to start giving his vast collection of stars the rest of the night off.
Bourbon’s touchdown run off an option pitch got Kansas within 45-7, but Shock Linwood matched him with a TD run for Baylor. Rodriguez Coleman hauled in a 30-yard TD strike from Heaps later in the fourth quarter, only for Linwood to add a 68-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.
“When we can play that way as a football team, we’re going to be a tough out,” Briles said. “We’re playing really, really good defense, we’ve got guys that are very explosive offensively and we have a great offensive line. We’re a tough football team.”