LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Seth Russell tossed three touchdown passes, Shock Linwood ran for 135 yards and a score, and third-ranked Baylor romped to a 66-7 victory over woebegone Kansas on Saturday.
Russell threw for 246 yards, all in the first half. Two of the TD strikes went to Corey Coleman, pushing his nation-leading total to 13, and the other to 6-foot-7, 410-pound tight end LaQuan McGowan, helping the Bears (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) to a 52-7 halftime lead.
It was the seventh straight Big 12 win for the Bears, and one that was hardly unexpected: They began the game as 46-point favorites, a record for a visiting team in Big 12 play.
Turns out the odds-makers were being kind.
Freshman Ryan Willis threw for 158 yards and a score in his first start for Kansas (0-5, 0-2), but he also tossed a pick and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
The Jayhawks’ top two quarterbacks, Montell Cozart and Deondre Ford, are both hurt. So were their top two wide receivers, Bobby Hartzog Jr. and Tre Parmelee. And their best cover cornerback, Brandon Stewart, left with a groin injury early in the game.
Not exactly the way to face one of the nation’s most dynamic teams.
The Bears piled up 644 yards despite playing backups the entire second half. Second-string quarterback Jarrett Stidham was 9 of 10 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while Johnny Jefferson ran for 79 yards and another score.
Baylor didn’t have to punt until there was 5 minutes left in the game.
With fall break going on at Kansas, and Late Night at the Phog having kept Jayhawk basketball fans up Friday night, there were more empty seats than full ones Saturday.
That might have been a good thing.
There weren’t many people around to see the rout.
The quick-strike Bears scored on every possession of the first half except their last, and that was only because they ran out of time. Their first three touchdown drives all went more than 70 yards, yet none of their scoring drives required more than 3 minutes, 14 seconds.
Russell was 18-of-27 passing and ran for a score. Linwood, the nation’s fifth-leading rusher, averaged more than 10 yards per carry. Coleman had seven receptions for 108 yards.
Even the Baylor defense got into the act, stripping Willis late in the first half. Xavien Howard picked up the fumble and scampered down the Kansas sideline 30 yards for a touchdown.
The only bright spot for Kansas came on its opening series. Willis converted a long third down with a pretty pass to Jeremiah Booker, then hit Steven Sims with a 36-yard touchdown pass.
The Jayhawks turned the ball over three times, averaged 1.8 yards per carry, and finished with 227 yards of total offense.