WACO, Texas -- If the 20th-ranked Baylor Bears were a boxer, that boxer would be begging for a title bout.
It will be a while before Baylor faces an opponent ranked in the top 25, but the Bears dismantled another nonconference foe in blasting Louisiana-Monroe 70-7 on Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.
The Bears, who led the nation in points per game at 69.5 entering this week, benefitted from two defensive touchdowns in the first quarter and established a 42-0 margin just 17 minutes into the contest.
"That's how you get on people," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "When you score on defense and you can play at a high rate of speed on offense, which we can, you combine those two things, you've got a chance to put some points on the board."
Baylor (3-0) is yet to play a team anywhere close to the top 25, nor even an opponent in a BCS conference. So it's too early to proclaim the Bears in the top tier of title contenders this season.
But Baylor is definitely a heavyweight, as evidenced by how effectively the Bears KO their foes. Baylor is the first team since the 1930 LSU squad to score 60 or more points in its first three games of the season.
ULM (2-2) came in riding a 21-19 win over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., last week, but the Warhawks didn't fare any better than Wofford or Buffalo before them.
By establishing a 49-7 lead by halftime against ULM, the Bears have now led at halftime by an average score of 48-7 in their three games, all at home.
The Warhawks seemed to know from the opening kickoff that they needed to score with the Bears. ULM drove to the Baylor 18 on its game-opening offensive series. Warhawks quarterback Kolton Browning completed four of his first five passes to ignite the offense.
But facing a fourth-and-4 from the Baylor 18, ULM passed up a field goal try and Browning's pass to Kenzee Jackson fell incomplete.
"We knew we were going to have to take some chances early on both sides of the field," ULM coach Todd Berry said. "When you take a lot of chances sometimes you get burned. Well, we got scalded."
It took the dynamic Baylor offense just three plays to give the Bears the lead.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty completed a 17-yard pass to Tevin Reese, threw incomplete and then went to Antwan Goodley for a 64-yard touchdown pass.
"We told the offense, first play beat them deep," Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon said. "Do whatever it takes to get in the end zone as fast as you can."
ULM went three-and-out on its ensuing possession and Baylor needed only four plays to score again when it got the ball back.
This time Petty hit Reese for a 47-yard touchdown.
Baylor edged ULM 47-42 in Monroe last season. The Bears were determined to put away the Warhawks more quickly this time.
"Coach Briles says don't wait for something bad to happen," Petty said. "We want to attack and hit them in the mouth."
And then things began to come unraveled for ULM.
Browning's second-and-10 pass from the Warhawks 35 was intercepted by Baylor cornerback Joe Williams and he took it 41 yards for a touchdown to give Baylor a 21-0 lead with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
Baylor cornerback Terrell Burt gave the Bears their second defensive score of the opening quarter when he fielded a Browning pass at the Bears 37 and took it 63 yards for a touchdown.
"It happens," Browning said. "Whether it's a bad play or a good play, you always have to erase your mind and move forward."
If there was any doubt whether ULM was reeling, down 28-0, it was confirmed when Warhawks kick-returner Cortney Davis fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Baylor's Anthony Webb recovered at the ULM 16.
It took Baylor two plays to score as Petty threw a 14-yard pass to Reese to the 2, then Petty cruised in for a 2-yard touchdown run.
By the time Petty threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Goodley for a 42-0 lead, all suspense was gone from the contest with 13:10 remaining in the second quarter.
Petty finished 18-for-27 with 351 passing yards and four touchdowns. Antwan Goodley led Baylor receivers with five catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
NOTES: Baylor came into the game averaging 69.5 point per contest and 736.5 yards per game, the most in the Football Bowl Subdivsion in both categories. ... Baylor has scored a defensive touchdown in each of its three games. Bears cornerback Joe Williams kept that streak going when he returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to give Baylor a 21-0 lead with 7:50 left in the opening period. ... Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, extending his streak of 100-yard rushing games to seven, the longest in FBS. ... ULM quarterback Kolton Browning had not given up an interception returned for a touchdown since Nov. 19, 2011 when he gave up a pick-6 in a loss to Florida International. Browning had never had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game in his college career.