WACO, Texas - A week after the offense posted astonishing numbers in the first scrimmage, Baylor's defense stepped up with three touchdowns during Saturday's second spring scrimmage at the Highers Complex.
Baylor's three quarterbacks combined to throw for 510 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Griffin III was 16-of-22 for 200 yards, while Nick Florence threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-18 passing. Redshirt freshman Bryce Petty, who enjoyed an impressive performance last week, went 16-of-26 for 152 yards with a touchdown.
The defense matched the offense's touchdown production with three scores of its own. Willie Jefferson, who moved from tight end to defensive end, recovered a fumble and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown on the fourth series of the morning. Another defensive end - Chris McAllister - accounted for the defense's second score, picking up a high snap that sailed over the head of Petty and taking it 20 yards for the score. Senior linebacker Elliot Coffey added the exclamation point of the defensive scoring, intercepting Florence's pass to take it 34 yards to the end zone.
In addition to the three defensive touchdowns, Baylor's defense racked up eight sacks, including three from Jefferson and two from Jared Edwards. The defense applied pressure throughout the entire scrimmage, totaling 11 tackles-for-loss.
"I thought we had some really good things today," fourth-year head coach Art Briles said. "Special teams were really good; (Aaron Jones) did a good job kicking and Kendall Wright fielded a few more punts and that's what we needed to see."
Sophomore placekicker Aaron Jones was rather impressive, connecting on four of his five field goal attempts. "Stork" drilled a pair of 50-yarders, including a booming 57-yard field goal down the middle to conclude the scrimmage. Senior Ben Parks also added a 37-yard field goal.
"Offense and defense both made plays on both sides of the ball," Briles said. "We had a couple of defensive touchdowns which are always critical and really help you win football games. I thought we had some good sustained drives offensively."
Thirteen different receivers tallied multiple receptions Saturday. Darius Jones and Josh Gordon each hauled in six receptions. Terrance Williams added three catches for 56 yards and a score, while Kendall Wright caught three for 55. Terrance Nathan and Rhett Butler each caught a touchdown pass.
"We had a couple of penalties that we can't have and then one fumble that was unforced," Briles said. "Other than that, it was a good effort today with good intensity."
Baylor enters its final week of its 15-practice spring session which will be capped off by the annual spring game April 2. The tentative practice schedule for the final week is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
|| POST-SCRIMMAGE QUOTES
Head Coach Head Coach Art Briles
On the second spring scrimmage...
"I thought we had some really good things today. Special teams were really good, Storke did a good job kicking, and Kendall Wright fielded a few more punts and that's what we needed to see. Offense and defense made plays on both sides of the ball. We had a couple defensive touchdowns which are always critical and really help you win football games when you look at it percentage wise. I thought we had some good sustained drives offensively, guys just taking care of their assignments and taking care of business. We had a couple of penalties there that we can't have, and then one fumble that was unforced but other than that it was a good effort and good intensity."
On the defensive improvements...
"I think they have improved. It would be hard to match offensively what happened last week. I thought the defense did a really good job of coming out today and playing with a lot of intensity. We had all of the coaches off of the field which I thought was really good because it cleaned everything up. Our players got out there and played and they did a good job. That is what they are supposed to do. That is their job, to get out there and stop people."
Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett
On the defensive improvement...
"I thought we made some strides this week. I think we are starting to get some people in the right positions. Having Sam Hall back and Josh Wilson healthy made a difference. As I told them, we aren't there yet, but I saw some steps. We put them in some tough situations. We moved the ball downfield, we did some red zone with one minute and they responded better. But like I said, we are not there yet. I told the guys that if we can stay on an even keel with our offence, we are going to get better and win some games."
On the defensive touchdowns...
"Those are always nice. One of the things at the end of practice that I wanted to do was to go out and show that they can play with a presence. At the end of the practice show that we are skilled here and ready to play. Third play they got a pick for a touchdown. That shows all of that. And I am not talking about saying it, they are actually doing it. We think Nick Florence is a pretty good quarterback, he doesn't throw the ball away much, so that says a lot about us doing some things that we haven't done in a while."
|| SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Ganaway 1 run (Jones kick)
Jefferson 30 fumble recovery (no kick)
Jones 51 FG Butler 18 pass from Petty (no kick)
Parks 37 FG McAllister 20 fumble recovery (no kick)
Nathan 44 pass from Florence (no kick)
Jones 42 FG
Jones 27 FG
T. Williams 39 pass from Florence (Jones kick)
Coffey 34 INT return (no kick)
Jones 57 FG
Robert Griffin III 16-22-200-0, Nick Florence 11-18-158-1 2 TD, Bryce Petty 16-26-152-0 1 TD, TEAM 0-1-0-0
Terrance Ganaway 7-42 TD, Jarred Salubi 4-31, Brad Willard 9-28, Glasco Martin 4-8, Tevin Reese 1-6, Robert Griffin III 4-6, Isaac Williams 2-2, Nick Florence 1-0, Bryce Petty 8-(-4)
RECEIVING Darius Jones 6-70, Josh Gordon 6-51, Terrance Williams 3-56 TD, Kendall Wright 3-55, Lanear Sampson 3-50, Terrance Nathan 2-69 TD, Rhett Butler 2-28 TD, Jerod Monk 2-23, Brad Willard 2-21, Thomas Draper 2-16, Tevin Reese 2-11, Jarred Salubi 2-7, Michael Valdez 2-3, Terrance Ganaway 1-20, Travis McClain 1-9, Isaac Williams 1-9, Jeff LePak 1-7, Jordan Najvar 1-6, Christian Coggan 1-(-1)
Josh Wilson 7, Chance Casey 6, Chris Quinn 6, T.C. Robinson 6, Brody Trahan 6, Ahmad Dixon 5, Rodney Chadwick 4, Elliot Coffey 4, Mike Hicks 4, Willie Jefferson 4 , Josh Benenoch 3, Jared Edwards 3, Sam Holl 3, Prince Kent 3, Tracy Robertson 3, Tyler Stephenson 3, Sean Watson 3, Bryce Hager 2, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste 2, LeQuince McCall 2, Reggie Rice 2, Robert Singletary 2, Romie Blaylock 1, Trevor Clemons-Valdez 1, Tuswani Copeland 1, Kaeron Johnson 1, Nick Johnson 1, Charles Kelly 1, Clarence Lee 1, Chris McAllister 1, Kevin Mitchell 1, Kevin Park 1, Keller Reese 1, Zac Scotton 1,
TACKLES FOR LOSS
Willie Jefferson 3.0-16, Jared Edwards 2.0-8, Kaeron Johnson 1.0-8, Nick Johnson 1.0-8, Sean Watson 1.0-7, Brody Trahan 1.0-3, Prince Kent 1.0-2, Robert Singletary 1.0-1
Willie Jefferson 3.0-16, Jared Edwards 2.0-8, Kaeron Johnson 1.0-8, Nick Johnson 1.0-8, Sean Watson 1.0-7
Elliot Coffey 1-34 TD
Aaron Jones 4/5 (57), Ben Parks 1/1 (37)
Chris Winkler 2-39.5 45, Ben Parks 2-32.5 33