WACO, Texas- Showing a balanced attack that featured the exact same number of passes and runs (56), the Baylor offense racked up more than 300 yards rushing and passing on Saturday in a 75-minute controlled scrimmage that attracted an estimated crowd of 2,750 at the Highers Complex practice field.
Quarterback Nick Florence, a rising senior, completed 14-of-18 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns with the No. 1 offense, while Bryce Petty split time with the top two offenses and was 18-of-27 for 146 yards and one TD. Leading the running game was sophomore transfer Lache Seastrunk, who capped his day with a 75-yard TD run to total 138 yards on just seven totes. Jarred Salubi was next with 88 yards on seven carries, with Glasco Martin chipping in with 58 yards and one score on eight attempts.
"First of all, just a great crowd, really pleased and humbled by the amount of people that showed up today," said fifth-year Baylor head coach Art Briles, who has 16 starters returning from a 10-3 Valero Alamo Bowl championship team. "It was not just outstanding weather, so for them to come out and support us like they did gives us a lot of inspiration. That's why at the end our guys went over and really told them, `Thank you.' The atmosphere was really good."
The first-team offense struggled early, with safety Collin Brence scooping up a fumble and returning it 36 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game and then going three-and-out on its next series.
But the No. 1 offense fought through windy conditions to score on its next five series, including TD passes from Florence to Lanear Sampson, Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood. Sampson was the leading receiver with 65 yards on five catches, while Norwood, Goodley and Tevin Reese each had four receptions.
"I thought we made some big plays on both sides of the ball," Briles said. "The defense was pretty consistent for the most part, gave up a couple big plays. Offensively, you just can't have three-and-outs. We just have to be a little more consistent. But overall, we stayed healthy, improved and we have a better idea of what our guys can do in certain situations now than we did a month and a half ago.
"Now, we're all working on the same goal, and that's beating SMU (in the Sept. 1 season opener at Floyd Casey Stadium)."
Petty also led two scoring drives with the No. 2 offense, hitting tight end Rhett Butler for an 18-yard TD pass on the opening series against the No. 1 defense and then handing off to Seastrunk for his 75-yard scamper down the right sideline.
"All those guys are good," Briles said of Seastrunk, Salubi and Martin, who combined for 284 yards and two touchdowns on just 22 carries. "And our offense enables some space, occasionally, to get through a hole and make some runs. So it's encouraging. The thing that's a little bit deceiving about us is everybody thinks we're throwing the ball, throwing the ball, throwing the ball. But we're going to run the ball. We've always been a running football team for the last 10 years, and we'll continue to do that. We've got good running backs, we've got good linemen and we've got good schemes."
The defense also had its moments with an interception by freshman safety Jemarcus Johnson, sacks by Ahmad Dixon and Terrance Lloyd and fumble recoveries by Brence, Trevor Clemons-Valdez, Devante Davis and Eddie Lackey.
"(Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett) and his staff do an outstanding job," Briles said. "They're great football coaches, our guys understand what's going on on the defensive side of the ball, and we have a lot more speed on the field. We're excited about where we are and where we will be."
Saturday's scrimmage, sponsored by Time Warner Cable, wrapped up a 15-practice spring training session that began on March 6. The Bears will open the 2012 football season with a home game on Sept. 1 against SMU. For season ticket information, call the Baylor Athletics Ticket Office at 254-710-1000 or go online at www.baylorbears.com/tickets.
| Head Coach Art Briles
"I thought we made some plays on both sides of the ball. Defense was pretty consistent throughout most of the day. Offense had some good moments just need to be a little more consistent but overall I thought the guys played well."
On the offensive line:
"They played okay today. The wind on a day like today affects the snap a little but I thought Ivory Wade did a good job. We didn't give up too many sacks and I thought we created a lot of good holes for the running backs."
On the defense:
"We have a great defensive coaching staff and our guys have more experience in the system. We have a lot more speed on the field which always makes things easier. We have good leadership as well so I'm excited about where we are going to be come next fall."
| Senior Quarterback Nick Florence
"I think overall it was a good scrimmage. I don't think it was my best. I missed a few throws that I wish I could have back, but overall, the offense executed very well and I'm excited about where we are right now."
On the tough wind conditions:
"Once you get out there and start playing you forget about it. Every throw you make you want to give your receivers a chance to make a play and that's what I try to do."
| Junior Nickleback Ahmad Dixon
On the pressure of getting better on defense:
"There is a little pressure, but we try not to think about it too much. We just want to go out there every day and get better, so we can be ready come next fall."
On the difference between last spring and now:
"This year we are executing our plays better and playing at a much higher level."
| Sophomore Running Back Lache Seastrunk
On learning the offense:
"I'm learning. I know my teammates are going to keep helping me. As long as I keep my head in the books and keep understanding all the checks and calls, I'll be fine."
Brence 36 fumble return (no kick)
Scoring Drive: --
Butler 18 pass from Petty (Jones kick)
Scoring Drive: 5 plays, 55 yards
Hager 1 run (Jones kick)
Scoring Drive: 7 plays, 60 yards
Sampson 18 pass from Florence (Jones kick)
Scoring Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards
Martin 14 run (Jones kick failed)
Scoring Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards
Goodley 3 pass from Florence (Jones kick)
Scoring Drive: 2 plays, 70 yards
Norwood 20 pass from Florence (Jones kick)
Scoring Drive: 12 plays, 75 yards
Ritchey 13 pass from Wallis (no kick)
Scoring Drive: 8 plays, 50 yards
Jones 42 FG
Scoring Drive: --
Seastrunk 75 run (Jones kick)
Scoring Drive: 1 play, 75 yards
Jones 52 FG
Scoring Drive: --
Lache Seastrunk 7-138 TD; Jarred Salubi 7-88; Glasco Martin 8-58 TD; John Parrham 12-50; B.J. Allen 5-10; Tevin Reese 1-5; Bryce Hager 1-1 TD; Nick Florence 6-0; Michael Valdez 1-(-5); Bryce Petty 8-(-16).
Lanear Sampson 5-65 TD; Jay Lee 5-30; Tevin Reese 4-89; Levi Norwood 4-51 TD; Antwan Goodley 4-21 TD; Michael Valdez 3-7; Rhett Butler 2-25 TD; Vince Sanders 2-15; Jarred Salubi 1-16; Matt Ritchey 1-13 TD; Jordan Najvar 1-10; Cal Spangler 1-8; B.J. Allen 1-7; Terrance Nathan 1-1; Jeff LePak 1-0.
Josh Wilson 10; Ahmad Dixon 6; Rodney Chadwick 6; Bryce Hager 5; Cordarius Golston 5; Sam Holl 5; Eddie Lackey 4; Collin Brence 4; K.J Morton 4; Demetri Goodson 4; Tyler Stephenson 4; LeQuince McCall 4; Terrance Lloyd 3; Prince Kent 3; Donald Bryant 3; Trevor Clemons-Valdez 3; Beau Blackshear 3; Marcus Santa Cruz 3; Nick Johnson 2; Darius Jones 2; Kevin Park 2; Clarence Lee 2; Suleiman Masumbuko 2; Joe Williams 2; Anthony Moore 1; Robert Singletary 1; Colin Simpson 1; T.C. Robinson 1; Devante Davis 1; Kedrick Dial 1; Mike Hicks 1.
Jemarcus Johnson 1.
Aaron Jones 6-7 PAT; 2-3 FG (42, 52; Miss: 52)