It was not a typical Baylor victory by any stretch of the imagination. The offense looked sloppy, despite the 45-0 victory, but the defense showed up in a big way, allowing only 67 yards of total offense to the SMU Mustangs. The defense pitched the first shutout against an FBS team since 1995 in Baylor's new home, McLane Stadium.
The big story of the game was Bryce Petty's back injury. It was clear throughout the game that Petty was in discomfort with an injury to his lower back. Baylor called it a "bruised lower back," but it is more puzzling why Petty stayed in the game through the end of the first half.
The game was clearly in hand at 24-0, but Petty took a hard shot to his back (pictured above) on the touchdown run that made the score 31-0. Petty did not play in the second half, but he should have not played past the first quarter with the obvious pain he was in.
Baylor opened the scoring on their first drive with a 23 yard field goal from Chris Callahan. It would two more drives before Baylor got in the end zone. SMU's Stephen Nelson fumbled and the ball was recovered by Baylor's Aiavion Edwards and brought to the SMU 6. Two plays later, Shock Linwood got in the end zone from 4 yards out to give Baylor a 10-0 lead.
Levi Norwood would take SMU's punt on the next drive 45 yards down to the 4 yard line. Petty threw his first touchdown pass to Tre'Von Armstead after a wonderful run fake threw the SMU defense off. Baylor's next drive was quick with Bryce Petty finding KD Cannon burning the SMU secondary for a 46 yard touchdown pass.
Matt Davis threw an inexplicable interception when he threw across the field and into double coverage. The ball was picked by Xavien Howard. Three plays later, Petty ran into the end zone for a 5 yard touchdown and he came off the field in obvious discomfort. The Bears took 31-0 lead into halftime and Petty's night was over.
Baylor added two more touchdowns in the second half. The first was Seth Russell's 12 yard touchdown pass to Jay Lee in the third quarter. The second was Silas Nacita's 1 yard diving run into the end zone late in the fourth quarter.
Petty finished the night 13 of 23 for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. There is little doubt that some of the incompletions were caused by Petty's back injury. Petty also ran for 21 yards and 1 touchdown on 2 carries. Seth Russell saw some action going 13 of 23 for 124 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception.
Shock Linwood had 16 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown. The leading receiver was Davion Hall with 7 catches for 86 yards while Jay Lee had 8 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Baylor's offense rang up 574 yards on the game.
Baylor's kicker, Chris Callahan, went 1 of 4 on his field goals. He will need to do far better, especially if Baylor plays in a close game later in the season
For SMU, there were very few positives, if any. Neal Burcham went 15 of 26 passing for 59 yards. Kolney Cassel was 3 of 8 for 20 yards and Matt Davis was 3 of 6 for 12 yards and the interception.
The rushing game was horrendous, as Baylor's defense was in the SMU backfield all game. They were held to negative 24 yards rushing on 25 attempts. Prescott Line led the Mustangs with 18 yards on 4 carries. Der'rikk Thompson led the SMU receivers with 2 catches for 21 yards.
SMU will stay in the state of Texas next week with a road game in Denton to face North Texas. They have a lot of improving to do if they want to avoid an 0-2 start.
Baylor will take on FCS Northwestern State next week in a game that will surely see the offense fix their errors. If the Baylor defense plays like this for the entire season, it will be bad news for the rest of the Big 12.