By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Insider
Picking up where he left off just two months ago, Baylor rising senior quarterback Bryce Petty threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns and added another TD on the ground in the Bears' first spring scrimmage on Thursday at the Highers practice field.
"That's key for us: you don't ever want to be gone too long," said Petty, who completed 14-of-18 passes. "When you have some (tough) down-and-distance things, it can get kind of weird on you, but I thought we did a great job of coming back and overcoming some things."
While Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood were held out, Corey Coleman stepped up to haul in TD passes of 70 and 42 yards.
"Me being young, it helped me out to play a lot last year and get on the same page with Bryce," said Coleman, who was the team's fourth-leading receiver last year as a sophomore, hauling in 35 passes for 527 yards and two TDs. "I definitely feel like this is my time and all of the receivers' time, to show that we're the best receiver corps in the nation."
Petty said Coleman is "a freak."
"Corey's a difference-maker," Petty said. "He just needs to build off of last year. It's just about getting out there, same as me. He's seen looks that he knows, and now it's just a matter of him getting out there and playing."
On the first-team offense's opening drive, Petty overcame a third-and-long situation with a 22-yard pass to rising sophomore receiver Robbie Rhodes and then capped the 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 13-yard QB keeper.
After suffering back-to-back sacks on a possession where the offense was backed up near its own goal line, Petty bounced back to hit Coleman for a 42-yard TD and then found him again for a 70-yarder.
"That's our fifth workout in seven days," said sixth-year Baylor head coach Art Briles. "I thought the energy was still good. That's what we're trying to do is have great energy, great intensity. I thought we got a little tired today, and it showed a little bit, but that's understandable. We had a couple stalled drives offensively and gave up a couple big plays on defense. The lines got a little winded, so we didn't get a good rush sometimes and didn't do a good job holding out on offense and gave up too many sacks."
The defense had its moments as well, finishing with 10 sacks - including two by sophomore defensive end Javonte Magee - three pass breakups and a fumble that was forced by Shawn Oakman and recovered by Jamal Palmer.
"Shawn is big on trying to strip the ball," Palmer said. "We're always trying to get the ball out. And as soon as we see the ball out, we've got to go get it. Go dive on the ball, or pick it up and run it in for a touchdown."
Despite losing seven starters, including three in the secondary, the defense is "not ready to take a step back," Palmer said.
"We want to get the defense back to where it was," he said. "We've got some work to do, but we feel like we can get there."
Sophomore quarterback Seth Russell was 7-of-15 for 90 yards and capped off the scoring with a 39-yard TD pass to Jay Lee. Rhodes and Lynx Hawthorne had five catches apiece, while redshirt freshman running back Johnny Jefferson led the rushing attack with 65 yards on 12 carries.
After taking off the next 10 days for Spring Break, the Bears will return for workouts on March 18, 20 and 22. Spring drills will conclude on April 5 with the annual Spring Game, while Baylor will open the 2014 season and debut in the new McLane Stadium with an Aug. 31 matchup against SMU.
Bryce Petty - 14-18, 210 yards, 2 TDs; Seth Russell - 7-15, 90 yards, 1 TD; Chris Johnson - 3-4, 72 yards; Andrew Frerking - 0-1.
Johnny Jefferson - 12-65; Devin Chafin - 5-47; Terence Williams - 9-35; Shock Linwood - 4-18; Brandon Brown - 3-10; Bryce Petty - 6-1, TD; Seth Russell - 7-(-6); Chris Johnson - 2-(-14).
Corey Coleman - 2-112, 2 TDs; Robbie Rhodes - 5-57; Cal Spangler - 1-52; Jay Lee - 3-44, TD; Lynx Hawthorne - 5-32; Quan Jones - 2-20; Tre'Von Armstead - 1-19; Devin Chafin - 1-9; Johnny Jefferson - 1-8; Andy Ritter - 1-8; Gus Penning - 1-6; Antwan Goodley - 1-5.
Orion Stewart-8; Taylor Young-7; Patrick Levels- 5; Aiavion Edwards- 4; Brian Nance- 4; Kendall Ehrlich-4; Xavier Phillips-4; Peni Tagive-4; Grant Campbell-3; Javonte Magee-3; Terrance Singleton-2; Raquan Davis-2; Taion Sells-2; Alfred Pullom-2; Xavien Howard-2; Austin Jupe-2; Kiante' Griffin-1; Ryan Reid-1; Suleiman Masumbuko-1; Jamal Palmer-1; Andrew Billings-1; Tanner Thrift-1; Terrell Brooks-1; Tuswani Copeland-1; Josh Benenoch-1.
Javonte Magee - 2 (-15); Kiante' Griffin - 1(-7); Grant Campbell - 1(-5); Suleiman Masumbuko - 1(-5); Taylor Young - 1 (-7); Brian Nance - 1 (-3); Jamal Palmer - 1 (-4); Xavier Phillips - 1 (-5); Terrell Brooks - 1 (-4).
Petty 13 run (Petty-to-Lee 2-point conversion)
Coleman 42 pass from Petty (Callahan kick)
Callahan 35 FG
Coleman 70 pass from Petty (no PAT attempt)
Callahan 45 FG
Lee 39 pass from Russell (Callahan kick)