WACO — Bryce Petty knows his No. 20 Baylor Bears may not have many believers, even after tying a school record for points set in the Bears’ last game.
That is why Petty and his teammates were looking forward to the Bears’ Big 12 opener in two weeks after pummeling Louisiana-Monroe, 70-7, on Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.
“We know what we have,” Petty said. “We know what we can do, and we’re ready to show you guys and the nation what Baylor football’s about.”
Baylor (3-0) has been all about historically proficient offense to this point, as the Bears topped 60 points for the third consecutive game, the first time a team has done that to open the season since LSU in 1930.
In addition to tying the school record for points set against Buffalo in Week 2, the Bears also tied the school record for total yards (781) set in that game as well.
“We dominated today,” said Petty, who was 18-of-27 for 351 yards and four touchdowns. “We took the spirit out early, and that’s what you want to do.”
Baylor came out of the gates as if it had a time limit on offense, scoring its first touchdown in 21 seconds on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Antwan Goodley.
The Bears’ next drive took just 51 seconds as Petty hit Temple product Tevin Reese for a 47-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead. In seven plays, Baylor racked up 157 yards and two touchdowns in just 1:12.
Apparently not content to let the offense do all the scoring, the defense owned the rest of the quarter.
Not only did the Bears record two interception returns for touchdowns by Joe Williams and Terrell Burt — only the fifth time in school history the Bears had two in the same game — but they also forced ULM to turn the ball over on downs twice in Baylor territory.
“It’s like come in every game hungry, trying to fight for that respect,” Burt said. “Everybody talks about the offense; we want them to talk about the defense as well.”
To top off the carnage, the Warhawks’ fumbled on the ensuing kickoff following the second touchdown return, giving the Bears a short field with the ball at the ULM 16.
After a 14-yard pass to Reese, Petty kept on a beautiful fake to score from 2 yards out and cap the first-quarter scoring with Baylor up 35-0.
The onslaught marked the first time in the BCS era a team has scored 28 points or more in a quarter in three straight games.
“That’s how you get on people,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “If our defense will continue to keep scoring touchdowns, and we’ll continue at the high rate of speed that we’re scoring on the offensive side, we’re going to continue to have good press conferences.”
Petty, meanwhile, continued his sensational play in the second quarter, hooking up with Goodley again, this time for a 65-yard touchdown, and hitting Clay Fuller for his first career receiving touchdown on a 23-yard fade from the slot.
Petty had 322 yards passing and all four of his touchdowns in the first half while his primary targets, Goodley and Reese, both pulled in five catches for a combined 250 yards.
Goodley finished with 156 yards and two touchdowns while Reese had 123 yards and the touchdown for his ninth career 100-yard game, good for fifth in school history.
Not to be outdone, former Temple star Lache Seastrunk raced 75 yards up the sideline on the second play of the second half to put Baylor up 56-7 and cap his day at the office.
Seastrunk finished with 156 yards on just 10 carries, his eighth 100-yard game as a Bear — tied with Jay Finley for third in school history — and seventh straight, the longest streak in the nation.
“That’s Lache,” Petty said. “He’s our spark, he’s a big hitter for us, so that’s important, especially going into Big 12, to have him hot.”
And while Big 12 play may be two weeks away for the Bears, they were already anxious to move forward after a third straight prolific performance Saturday.
“The thing that we’ve got to do is keep improving,” Briles said, “just keep grinding, keep playing, keep getting better and staying extremely hungry, which we are -— if we’re running the bases, we’re just halfway down first baseline.”