WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor’s new stadium opened to rave reviews. The 10th-ranked Bears looked pretty good, too.
Bryce Petty accounted for three touchdowns in the first half and Baylor’s smothering defense had eight sacks in a 45-0 victory over SMU at sparkling McLane Stadium along the Brazos River.
“That’s what it has been all about … just unveiling the stadium and the atmosphere,” coach Art Briles said. “There were some distractions. I don’t think I have ever coached in a bigger game.”
On the day a statue of Robert Griffin III was dedicated, Petty extended his streak with at least one touchdown pass to a school-record 14 games, breaking a tie with Baylor’s only Heisman Trophy winner.
Griffin was on hand for the Bears’ first game on campus since 1935. After Sunday’s statue dedication more than three hours before kickoff, the Washington Redskins quarterback was on the field before the game. He gave the invocation and took part in the opening coin toss with former President George W. Bush.
Once the game got started, Petty took a bruising shot to his lower back on Baylor’s first offensive drive. The reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year then moved gingerly at times, often grabbing at his back and side between plays. He did not play in the second half.
“It’s nothing that serious. Everything’s good,” Petty insisted afterward. “I’m already feeling a lot better.”
While he missed on a couple of passes he would usually complete, Petty was 13 of 23 for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score that made it 31-0.
“He had a couple of throws – he had guys in space and missed them. We knew something was wrong, that’s not Bryce at all,” Briles said.
Along with Petty getting hurt, top receiver Antwan Goodley did not play after the first quarter because of a tight quad that also bothered him during fall camp. He didn’t have a catch for the first time in 18 games.
Briles said he hopes the situation for Petty and Goodley is day to day. The Bears have a short week before playing their second game at home Saturday night against Northwestern State.
SMU (0-1) was held to 67 total yards, its fewest since coach June Jones took over in 2008. The Mustangs were shut out for the second time in their last three games.
“What allowed the game to be won tonight, the way we dominated defensively,” Briles said.
Jones’ predecessor at SMU was Phil Bennett, who is in his fourth season as Baylor’s defensive coordinator.
“We scripted a lot of things to get the ball out quickly,” Jones said. “It’s hard for a quarterback to step back and throw anything when he doesn’t have time.”
The Mustangs completed 21 of 39 passes for only 91 yards, also a low for Jones at SMU. The trio of quarterbacks – starter Neal Burcham, Davis and redshirt freshman Kolney Cassel – had minus-58 yards rushing on 10 carries, including all those sacks.
Baylor (1-0) led 24-0 after the first quarter, including TD drives of 6 yards after an SMU fumble and 4 yards after Levi Norwood’s 45-yard punt return.
Petty had completions of 15 and 13 yards to Jay Lee before his 5-yard TD run made it 31-0. Petty got hit again going into the end zone and was slow getting up, but played two more series.
“Putting those headphones on (after halftime) brought back bad memories,” said Petty, who finally started last season as a fourth-year junior. “At the same time, you have to know yourself, you have to know your limits.”