WACO, Texas - Two days after a session dominated by the defense, the Baylor offense came back to put up some mind-boggling numbers in Saturday morning's spring football scrimmage at the Highers Complex.
Limited to just a handful of series, quarterback Robert Griffin III was 15-of-20 for 208 yards passing and hooked up with Josh Gordon for a 33-yard TD and Terrance Williams on a 38-yarder as the offense owned the day.
"It just so happened that today was our day, collectively, as an offense," Griffin III said. "We were dominating today than we have been all spring. Definitely on Thursday, the defense was giving to us.
"It was pretty exciting today, to see all the big plays," Griffin said. "But we know you've got to keep coming back and getting better. We're not going to take this day and go, `All right, we're done for the rest of the spring.' But it was definitely good to go out there and have a good day."
And it didn't stop with the first-team unit. Redshirt freshman Bryce Petty completed 20-of-24 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns, while junior-to-be Nick Florence was 20-of-23 for 277 yards and a touchdown.
"They kind of gave it to me from Thursday's practice, because I fumbled," Williams said, who hauled in a scrimmage-best 11 catches for 209 yards and two TDs. "So I wanted to come out and show them that payback's going to be heck."
First-year defensive coordinator Phil Bennett has emphasized not giving up any big plays. But the banged-up secondary was riddled all day. In addition to the two TD passes by Griffin III, Petty had TD scoring tosses of 71 yards to Michael Valdez, 75 to Levi Norwood and 75 to walk-on receiver Terrance Nathan; Tevin Reese caught a 62-yarder from Nick Florence; and Terrance Ganaway scored on a 61-yard TD run.
"As I've said many times, we're a work in progress," Bennett said, who had three defensive linemen and at least one safety out with injuries. "It's not as bad as it looked. All things are correctible. You look at the missed tackles, and we had some guys in position. I do like their want-to, I like their ability, they can get it done. Today, we didn't play as well or as consistent as I think we're capable of, or as we did on Thursday."
Fourth-year head coach Art Briles said the measure of success for the scrimmage is the fact that "everybody that started is standing."
"That's our No. 1 goal when we step on the field. That was the No. 1 thing we wanted to take care of," Briles said. "We had a lot of missed assignments, missed tackles, some unforced penalties on offense, which you can't have. But all in all, the activity was good. The intensity was good, and it was a little more spirited than it was on Thursday. We've got to take care of each other, we've got to fight hard for each other and we've got to prepare to beat TCU."
The Bears are right at halfway through their 15-practice spring training, which will cap off with the annual spring game on April 2. Tentative practice schedule for next week is Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
| POST-SCRIMMAGE QUOTES
Head Coach Art Briles
"The main thing is everybody that started is standing. That's our No. 1 goal when we step on the field. That was the No. 1 thing we wanted to take care of. We had a lot of missed assignments, missed tackles, had some unforced penalties on offense, which you can't have. But all in all, the activity was good. The action was good, the intensity was good and it was a little more spirited than it was Thursday, when we broke down a little bit and scrimmaged. So that part of it, I'm impressed with, because we've got some good leaders that are being good leaders for us. And that's what we've got to do. We've got to take care of each, we've got to fight hard for each other and we've got to prepare to beat TCU."
On Robert Griffin III's progress this spring...
"Last year, he didn't get to do any of this. So to me, it's like he's getting ready for his sophomore season, because he played, sat, played and now he's going. The thing you've got to also think about is this is also his fourth year, third spring, so he's got a lot of experience, a lot of game experience. And what we've got to do is make sure he finds some motivational tools within himself to achieve the greatness that he can get to, to help us win football games. The great thing about Robert is that he is intrinsically motivated. He's a guy that we don't have to push any buttons, because he's pushing them himself."
On spring being chance for guys to shine...
"Like I tell them, we're on a job interview every day. If you wonder why people clean up and put on their best shirt and say their best words and use their best manners, it's called food. People like to eat. So you've got to prepare and you've got to plan to be your best every single day and every day we're out here, coaches and players, we're at a job interview."
On pace to get done what they wanted during spring...
"I think definitely offensively. Now defensively, we're trying to catch up a little bit because of a variety of reasons - new scheme, new terminology and some personnel changes. But I'm not concerned about that one bit, because I have a lot of confidence in Phil Bennett."
| SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Gordon 33 pass from Griffin III (kick failed)
Salubi 12 run (Jones kick)
Valdez 71 pass from Petty (Jones kick)
Ganaway 61 run (Parks kick)
T. Williams 39 pass from Griffin III (no PAT attempt)
Norwood 75 pass from Petty (no PAT attempt)
Jones 28 field goal
Nathan 19 pass from Petty (Parks kick)
Jones 29 field goal
Reese 62 pass from Florence (Parks kick)
Nathan 75 pass from Petty (no PAT attempt)
Terrance Williams 11-209-2, Levi Norwood 4-97-1, Terrance Nathan 2-94-2, Michael Valdez 3-76-1, Tevin Reese 3-75-1, Jeff LePak 2-74, Josh Gordon 4-50-1, Thomas Draper 2-46, Darius Jones 4-42, Kendall Wright 3-39, Jerod Monk 3-39, Travis McClain 2-28, Lanear Sampson 3-21, Brad Willard 2-19, Jordan Najvar 2-13, Isaac Williams 2-8, Rhett Butler 1-2, Christian Coggan 1-1, Glasco Martin 1-0.
Ahmad Dixon 10, LeQuince McCall 10, Keller Reese 9, Rodney Chadwick 7, Tuswani Copeland 7, Prince Kent 6, Brody Trahan 6, Chance Casey 5, Bryce Hager 5, Elliot Coffey 4, Chris McAllister 4, Marcus Veal 4, Mike Hicks 3, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste 3, Willie Jefferson 3, Kevin Park 3, Chris Quinn 3, Reggie Rice 3, Robert Singletary 3, Tyler Stephenson 3, Josh Wilson 3, Kaeron Johnson 2, Clarence Lee 2, T.C. Robinson 2, Zac Scotton 2, Sean Watson 2, Romie Blaylock 1, Josh Hall 1, Terrance Lloyd 1, Tracy Robertson 1.
TACKLES FOR LOSS
Willie Jefferson 1.0-9, Prince Kent 1.0-9, Josh Hall 1.0-6, Kevin Park 1.0-6, Reggie Rice 1.0-5, Kaeron Johnson 1.0-4, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste 1.0-2, Clarence Lee 1.0-2, Zac Scotton 1.0-2, Bryce Hager 0.5-4, Sean Watson 0.5-4.
Brody Trahan 1-18.