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Baylor buries Buffalo 70-13

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WACO, Texas -- Punting against Baylor is a terrible idea.

The Buffalo Bulls learned that lesson the hard way in trying to keep up with No. 23 Baylor's dynamic offense. Baylor scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions and routed Buffalo 70-13 on Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.

Though Buffalo grabbed the initial lead by driving 75 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession, the Bulls' four punts and two turnovers in the first half allowed Baylor to race by. Baylor streaked to a 56-13 lead by intermission.

"As long as we get the ball to our offense, we're going to put up points," Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager said. "If we can hold any opponent to 13, we can beat anyone in the nation."

Trailing 7-0 early in the first quarter, Baylor responded by scoring touchdowns in four plays on its first possession, five plays on its second drive and a workmanlike seven plays on its third drive to surge ahead 21-7 with 3:52 to go in the first quarter.

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Reese for the first score. Bears running back Shock Linwood scored on a 3-yard run to take the lead and Lache Seastrunk ran 8 yards for the third touchdown.

"I thought we were really sharp early," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "Our guys were pretty confident. I think they know what they're doing and we played at a high rate of speed with a lot of highly effective plays."

Buffalo (0-2) threw another punch in the first quarter when quarterback Joe Licata tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alex Neutz, cutting Baylor's lead to 21-13 after the point-after attempt was blocked by Baylor's Ahmad Dixon.

The Bears (2-0) were hardly stunned, though. Baylor needed just three plays to score. On third-and-3 from his own 17, Petty hit Antwan Goodley on a slant pass. The Buffalo defense appeared to have several players with an angle to stop Goodley, but the Baylor receiver sped through the coverage and churned out an 83-yard touchdown.

"The great thing about the speed that we have is it's almost deceptive," Petty said. "They don't always look like they're moving that fast. So when you see them split safeties, it's awesome to watch."

Goodley's score gave Baylor a 28-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Bears averaged 15.8 yards per play in piling up 301 yards in the first quarter and they were only getting started. Baylor scored 28 points in the second quarter and had compiled 501 yards of total offense by halftime.

"We knew that their speed would be a factor," Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn said. "We felt like they didn't do anything spectacular other than making plays downfield and their quarterback put the ball in their playmakers' hands."

The Baylor defense made matters worse for the Bulls in the second quarter. Bears cornerback Xavier Howard intercepted a Licata pass to stop one Buffalo possession. With the Bulls driving inside the Baylor 10, Bears defensive back Sam Holl sacked Licata, forcing a fumble that Hager recovered and returned 91 yards for a touchdown.

"Our job as a team was to try to destroy their spirit early," Briles said. "I thought Hager's fumble return put the dagger where we needed it to go."

Seastrunk ran 33 yards for Baylor's final touchdown of the first half, giving him 150 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries to that point. Petty completed 13 of 16 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. Neither Seastrunk nor Petty was called on to play after the first offensive series of the second half.

Quinn, having seen Ohio State and Baylor, believes the Bears belong in the Buckeyes' category.

"I felt good about last week's game against Ohio State," Quinn said. "But this week we weren't even close to the way I felt we would hold up against Baylor. They are deserving to be in the top five right now in my opinion."

NOTES: Baylor set a school record for points in a half with 56 in the first half. ... Coming into the Buffalo game, Baylor had a five-game winning street with an average margin of victory of 26.2 points. The streak included wins over three ranked opponents. The win over Buffalo upped those numbers to six straight wins with an average victory margin of 31.1. ... Seastrunk rushed for 150 yards on 17 carries. It was the sixth straight game in which Seastrunk rushed for more than 100 yards, a school record that coincides with Baylor's current winning streak ... Buffalo's Khalil Mack, last week's CBSSports.com national defensive player of the week when he registered nine tackles and 2.5 sacks against Ohio State in the season opener, had just 2.5 tackles as Baylor raced past Buffalo in the first half.
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