WACO, Texas — Remember the Alamo all you want. But Waco it’s best to forget.
UB strolled into an ambush of historic proportions Saturday afternoon and school records tumbled on both sides as 23rd-ranked Baylor romped to a 70-13 victory that – dare it be said – was even more one-sided than the final score might suggest.
The 70 points were the most any UB team has yielded in the Division I-A/FCS era, breaking the mark set in a 66-21 loss to Byron Leftwich-quarterbacked Marshall in 2002. And it might well have been much uglier had both teams not gone to their backups after intermission.
By the end of the first half Baylor’s frenetic offense had scored seven touchdowns yet held the ball just a click under 10 minutes. Their first two touchdown drives totaled 159 yards and required all of one minute, 45 seconds. The Bears became only the second FBS team in 10 years with 10 sub two-minute TD drives in a game and broke the school single-game point record set in last week’s 69-3 destruction of FCS Wofford.
“Give credit to Baylor,” UB head coach Jeff Quinn said. “They’ve got a great team. I fully anticipate them being one of the best teams in the Big 12. With that kind of ability and playmaking ability they can certainly score at any time and they certainly took full advantage out there today. Just the overall four quarters wasn’t even close to what I expect.”
“I thought we were really sharp early,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “You don’t want to pat yourself on the back or anything, but I think our guys are confident.”
UB opened the season at No. 2 Ohio State and followed up with Saturday’s trip to the heart of Texas. Baylor just cracked the rankings this week but don’t be surprised if the Bears climb well up the ladder as the season unwinds. Some questions still surround the defense but Baylor had all the answers on the offensive end in piling up a school record 781 yards.
Quarterback Bryce Petty went 13 for 16 for an amazing 338 yards with TD plays covering 61 and 83 yards. Running back Lache Seastrunk, a transfer from Oregon, rolled to 150 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Neither played the second half.
“Our goal going into every game is to play fast,” said Petty, who often got off snaps 10-12 seconds into the play clock. “Coach Briles always tells us we dictate what they do, not the other way around, and I think that’s a big key to our success. We got fast during practice and expect the same in the games.”
UB (0-2) was feeling good coming off that opening loss to Ohio State. The Bulls were talking about the value of senior leadership as they bounced back from 23-0 down to outscore the Buckeyes, 20-17, the rest of the way.
But senior leadership was of little use against Baylor, not with the Bears rolling out an offense that operates at break-neck speed and features athletes with breakaway abilities.
Najja Johnson leaned a quarter-step in the wrong direction and it enabled Tevin Reese to go 61 yards for Baylor’s first touchdown. Three Bulls appeared to have a shot at Antwan Goodley but he took a pass 83 yards for Baylor’s fourth touchdown.
“They’re a real fast football team and they got out on us early,” Johnson said. “We got to play more consistently as a defense. We gave up way too many explosive plays, both in the run and the passing game. I’m responsible, our entire defense is responsible.”
UB took the opening kickoff and feigned a conservative look that included Kendall Patterson at fullback. But instead of establishing the run the Bulls sent a message: Let’s shoot it out.
Licata handed off to Branden Oliver, who pitched it back to his quarterback, who found Alex Neutz streaking down the middle for a 54-yard gain. Seven plays later the Bulls were on the board as Oliver scored his 19th career TD from 1 yard out.
The Bear faithful went silent ... for less than a minute. And then never quieted again.
The blow that doubled over UB came when Licata fumbled while sacked and Bryce Hager returned the turnover 91 yards for a touchdown and a 49-13 lead with 5:18 left in the half.
Seastruck added another scored 1:26 later, making it 56-13 at the break. What a mismatch it was.
“They’ve done a good job recruiting,” Quinn said. “Personnel was in their favor and we knew that. I don’t think there was anything that they did that was anything spectacular other than they went deep and they were able to make plays downfield. When you have that capability with that kind of personnel, you’re in every ballgame.”