Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

TOP 25 FOOTBALL ; No. 4 Baylor Pulls Away from SMU; No. 5 Michigan State Hangs On

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

TOP 25 FOOTBALL ; No. 4 Baylor Pulls Away from SMU; No. 5 Michigan State Hangs On

Article excerpt

DALLAS - Seth Russell threw for 376 yards with three of his five touchdowns to Jay Lee, and the new starting quarterback also ran for a score as fourth-ranked Baylor finally got back on the field with 56-21 victory at SMU on Friday night. The Bears got to start fresh after the long, long offseason that followed their playoff snub despite a second consecutive Big 12 Conference title, and then blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter in a Cotton Bowl loss to Michigan State.

Russell succeeded two-year starter Bryce Petty and the Bears kept rolling on offense, as has become usual under eighth-season coach Art Briles. Russell completed 15 of 30 passes and had a 4-yard TD run as Baylor had 723 total yards. They averaged 582 yards and 48 points a game last season.

SMU played its first game for new coach Chad Morris, Clemson's offensive coordinator the past four seasons.

The Mustangs, who scored only 12 total points their first four games last season including a 45-0 loss at Baylor, had 21 points in the first 1 1-2 quarters. They were still in the game until two impressive TD catches by Lee in the third quarter.

Russell hit Corey Coleman for a 42-yard gain on the game's first play and Baylor got in the end zone on all four of its possessions in the first quarter. The Bears' first two drives each took less than a minute to cover 75 yards in four plays.

With dual-threat quarterback Matt Davis, the Mustangs immediately responded with touchdowns on their first two drives. Davis threw a 46-yard TD to Courtland Sutton on their first offensive play of the season, and they later connected on a 31-yard score.

Davis finished 16 of 23 passing for 166 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He ran 24 times for 115 yards.

But with SMU at the 3 and within 28-21, Davis was sacked on the final play of the first half. The Mustangs were out of timeouts and couldn't get lined back up for another play.

Davis redshirted as a freshman in 2012 behind Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, where he went after being recruited by then Clemson OC Morris. After one junior college season, Davis went to SMU and was the starter by the end of last season before Morris became his coach. …

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