WACO — Lamar did everything in its power to hang with No. 4 Baylor — and in a way, so did the Bears with turnover after turnover — but in the end, Corey Coleman was not to be stopped on a historic Saturday night.
Coleman reeled in a single-game record four touchdowns to help Baylor pull away from Lamar early in the second half of a 66-31 victory Saturday at McLane Stadium.
“It feels amazing, got the record, but most importantly, we got the win and everyone’s happy,” Coleman said. “We’re just going to move on to the next game.
Coleman was one of two 100-yard receivers for the Bears, along with senior Jay Lee, while Shock Linwood, Shoemaker product Johnny Jefferson and Terence Williams each topped 100 yards on the ground — just the third time a trio of rushers have surpassed the century mark in program history.
“You’ve got to be able to run the ball, and really that’s kind of what makes our offense go,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “If we can run the football, we can roll. So, we try to do it both ways, but tonight we felt like we had to run the ball to open the pass.”
Typical of its high scoring offense, Baylor ripped off two touchdowns in the final 3:51 of the first half to go up two scores, but the scoreboard didn’t tell the story of a game that was tied at 21 with less than five minutes remaining in the half.
That was largely because Baylor turned the ball over three times in the first half — including two interceptions by Seth Russell — two of which led directly to Lamar touchdowns.
“We can’t turn the ball over three times in one quarter,” Briles said. “That’s just unheard of and uncalled for and you can’t do it and you’re fortunate if you come out with a win when that happens.”
The first of those touchdowns, a 1-yard run by Kade Harrington that followed a Russell fumble, actually put Lamar ahead, 14-13, with 13:07 remaining in the second quarter.
But Baylor, aided by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, responded on its next drive as Coleman caught the second of three first-half touchdowns for a 21-yard score. Coleman and Jay Lee both topped 100 yards receiving in the first half as they finished with 182 and 111 yards, respectively.
Lamar tied the game at 21 on a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Joe Minden after Russell’s third interception, but Baylor finally separated at the end of the half on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Russell to Coleman and a 13-yard touchdown scamper by Linwood with 35 seconds remaining.
“Honestly, it didn’t feel like a good win,” said Russell, who finished with 342 yards passing and four touchdowns but also four turnovers. “I know the defense fought their butt off. Give all the credit to them. They kept us in the game.”
Baylor received to start the second half and wasted no time busting the game open as Russell hooked up with Coleman a fourth time for a 34-yard touchdown and a 42-21 lead just 56 seconds into the third.
Linwood and the Bear running game took it from there, as he racked up 80 of his 131 rushing yards plus a touchdown in the third while Jefferson added a 46-yard touchdown run in the fourth. Linwood finished with three touchdowns while Jefferson and Williams each finished with 121 yards.
The Bears are off next week before returning to action Sept. 26 when they host Rice at 2 p.m. at McLane Stadium.