WACO — Lache Seastrunk felt like a Sasquatch was lying on top of him.
The monkey on his back was too big. Baylor was in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
And after a turbulent transfer from Oregon to the Bears two years ago, he wanted nothing more than to get on the field and prove what he was capable of doing.
At times though, while he was waiting, Seastrunk ran his mouth more than his he did his legs. Early in the season, he became frustrated by his lack of playing time. He took to Twitter to complain.
He didn’t want to wait. Like a petulant child, the former five-star recruit wanted the ball and wanted it now.
Art Briles, though, made him wait anyway. He made Seastrunk learn patience.
Saturday, Seastrunk was finally unleashed. The former Temple star ran for 103 yards on 17 carries and had five catches for 91 yards in Baylor’s 41-14 victory over Kansas and former Killeen quarterback Michael Cummings.
“As you know, I had a couple of tweets that was not being patient because I was frustrated. I knew what type of player I was, but I had to see that I am still young and have a lot of time left,” Seastrunk said. “I have to give credit to the juniors and seniors and I started to understand my time was going to come ... I just had to be more patient.”
His patience ran out on Kansas with 10 seconds left in the first quarter. Seastrunk ran out of the backfield, into the seam and caught the ball in stride. He took Nick Florence’s pass and ran 68 yards for a touchdown.
It was what Seastrunk had been waiting for.
Cummings is still waiting for one of his moments to come with a win. The Kansas redshirt freshman turned the corner around left tackle and had a free path to the end zone.
The 22-yard touchdown run was the first of his Kansas career.
Of course, Cummings had his struggles, too. He threw two interceptions.
But it was a lot better than last week, at least when Texas quarterback David Ash and Cummings both stank up the field in the Longhorns’ 21-17 win.
Ash redeemed himself Saturday with an impressive showing in Lubbock. The former Belton star and the 2010 Daily Herald Player of the Year was 11-of-19 passing for 264 yards and three touchdowns — once again proving his worth as the starting quarterback over Case McCoy.
Ash’s time, like Seastrunk’s, is now.
Meanwhile, Cummings is starting, but he is still growing — still learning on the job.
He finished 9-of-19 for 81 yards and a touchdown. His real time to shine is still undetermined.
But perhaps he has already proved some of his doubters wrong. Coming out of high school, few schools recruited him as a quarterback. The thinking was the 5-foot-10 athlete could play defense or wide receiver, but he would never line up behind center.
Now the Daily Herald’s 2009 Player of the Year is showing he has the mettle to get it done as a quarterback for a Division I football team. Cummings will probably never do for Kansas what Robert Griffin III did for Baylor. But, one day, he might take them to a bowl game.
Seastrunk is also proving his doubters wrong.
I once said he would never make an impact at Oregon. I was right; he ran into trouble with recruiting facilitator Willie Lyles, fell behind De’Anthony Thomas on the depth chart and transferred.
Now, though, he is ready to make an impact for Baylor. His biggest play of the day was the 68-yard catch. But what he did was give Baylor a real impact player at running back.
For the Bears to be effective they need a difference-maker. Sure, a Robert Griffin is what every team dreams of having, but a Terrance Ganaway is essential to being competitive.
Seastrunk gives Baylor that chance; as does Cummings for Kansas — even if the Jayhawks aren’t competitive yet.
At the moment, though, both players are learning that they can’t rush things.
“To be honest, with me, it was just a matter of time,” Seastrunk said of his breakout game. “I just had to stop rushing things ... and be a little more patient. Before I knew it, it was my time and I had to go take it.”
And he did, shredding Sasquatch’s tackle and sprinting to the end zone.
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569