After Bryce Petty graduated and became a part of the New York Jets, some Baylor Bears' fans were skeptic on whether quarterback Seth Russell would be able to step in and be effective. After seven games, the Redshirt Junior has been very impressive as he has lead his team to a 7-0 record and the second rank in the AP Poll. Yet, while Baylor's record does not show any defeats, the Bears did "lose" on Saturday afternoon because Russell fractured a bone in his neck during their 45-27 home victory over Iowa State.
Russell, who entered today's action with the most touchdowns by any FBS quarterback (27) as well as the best QB Rating (210.0), suffered the injury with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter on a four-yard run. Even though the play did not look serious when it transpired, head coach Art Briles said if the contest would have been closer in score, he still would not have played the 21-year old since the injury was severe.
While Baylor is about to enter the toughest part of their schedule (three of the next four opponents are ranked), the Bears are fortunate the incident occurred with a bye week coming up. Therefore, instead of being back in action in six days, Russell will have twice as long to recover.
When Briles was asked whether the six foot, three inch playmaker would be behind center when Baylor travels to Kansas State on November 5, he said, "If he's cleared, he'll play, because he's a tough hombre now."
If Russell is unable to suit up, Freshman Jarrett Stidham will be looked upon to step up for the second ranked Bears. In limited action, Stidham has thrown for 6 touchdowns and 331 yards with a completition percentage of 85.7% (24 completions in 28 attempts).