Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TD MACHINE; Baylor Quarterback Bryce Petty Is Leading an Offense That's Scoring at a Record Clip; COLLEGE FOOTBALL FOCUS

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TD MACHINE; Baylor Quarterback Bryce Petty Is Leading an Offense That's Scoring at a Record Clip; COLLEGE FOOTBALL FOCUS

Article excerpt

Defensive coordinators in the Big 12 will be working overtime as the conference season approaches trying to prepare for an eventual meeting with Baylor, which is working on a record-setting season.

The Bears became the first FBS team since 1930 to score at least 60 points in each of its first three games in Saturday's win over Louisiana-Monroe, and they enter their Big 12 opener as the national leader in scoring and total offense.

Quarterback Bryce Petty has stepped into Robert Griffin III's shoes nicely by leading Baylor to an average of 69.7 points and 751 yards in nonconference play.

"I don't think we go into the season saying, 'Hey, let's score 70 points,' but obviously when it happens everybody is happy," Petty said. "There's always room for improvement. We like playing so it's hard to take a break, but it'll be good to take a step back and reload before Big 12 play."

Against Louisiana-Monroe, Baylor gained 781 yards to tie the school record set a week earlier. The Bears needed only 16 minutes to take a 42-0 lead.

Of course, the defenses figure to be a bit more stingy inside the conference. But then again, the Big 12 has not been known for holding opponents down in recent years.

Thus far, seven of the conference's 10 teams rank 45th or worse nationally in total defense. West Virginia, which the Bears will face in two weeks, is among the best and will give everyone a good idea how well they will be able to handle the Bears.

One thing that has helped them in their scoring pace is a defense that has produced four touchdowns three on interception returns and one on a fumble.

"That's good," coach Art Briles said. "When you score defensive touchdowns and you have the ability to score offensively and you combine those two things, the next thing you know you've got a chance to put some things on the board."

Petty is off to a scorching start, having completed 75 percent of his passes for 1,001 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception.

MICHIGAN ESCAPES

After barely beating a lowly Akron team at home, Michigan had to rally on the road to defeat Connecticut 24-21 with a late field goal. The Wolverines have managed a 4-0 start despite being plagued by turnovers in their preparation for the Big Ten schedule. …

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