The Baylor Bears showed up to be counted as Big 12 play began Saturday at McLane Stadium.
A week after Duke pummeled the Bears in the first half, Baylor flipped the script and did the pummeling versus Kansas.
From the opening kickoff, Baylor was aggressive and sharp on both sides of the football on the way to a dominating 23-0 halftime lead over the Jayhawks.
It started on Baylor’s second offensive series when Bears wide receiving mauled a Kansas defender on a block, paving the way on the edge for quarterback Charlie Brewer to convert a third-and-10 with a 15-yard run.
Brewer returned the favor three plays later by finding Platt for a 22-yard touchdown.
Baylor’s passing offense kept going from there as Brewer finished the first half with 151 passing yards and 3 TDs.
The two biggest problems for Baylor last week — dropped passes on offense and surrendering big plays on defense — were solved for at least a half against the Jayhawks. The Bears receivers hauled in pretty much everything in their vicinity.
But the most impressive turnaround came from the Baylor defense, which turned in its best half of the season.
The Bears held Kansas to 48 total yards and just 5 first downs. Kansas crossed the 50-yard line just once and missed a 48-yard field goal attempt on that occasion. Baylor kept pressure on the Kansas quarterbacks, posting a pair of sacks to go along with three other tackles for losses.
Baylor coach Matt Rhule has said his team is willing to face the truth on a weekly basis, and he was disappointed with how the Bears played a week ago. So far today, the Bears have backed up their coach’s words by playing much better than they did against the Blue Devils.
The big question for the second half is will Baylor maintain momentum and turn this into a yawner by the fourth quarter?