By Jerry Hill
Despite the first-team offense scoring touchdowns on three of its first four series and the starting defense giving up just one TD, Baylor head coach Art Briles said neither side "stayed real consistent" in Saturday's 75-minute scrimmage at the Highers Complex practice field.
"When we get the ball, we've got to score," Briles said. "And when we're on defense, we have to stop them. We've just got to keep working and practicing for perfection, because that's when you reach it is when you get there."
Junior quarterback Bryce Petty continued his strong fall camp, hitting 70.4 percent of his passes (19-of-27) and throwing for 207 yards and two touchdowns as the first three units combined for 506 yards.
"We've got to clean that stuff up," said Petty, who agreed with Briles' assessment. "That's what scrimmages are for, especially in college, because we don't have any tune-up games. Our first game is when it counts . . . so we've got to make sure that we hit the ground running. Today, the offense was kind of up and down, but you've got to make sure that we get through those."
Petty got the scoring started with a 25-yard TD pass to Jay Lee in the left corner of the end zone over cornerback K.J. Morton. With Antwan Goodley (pulled groin) and Clay Fuller (sprained ankle) both out, Lee stepped up to make four catches for 39 yards and had a nifty 40-yard grab waved off by a questionable pass interference call.
"He's having a great camp, but there are seven other guys that are having just as good a camp," Petty said of Lee. "And that's what we needed. We needed Jay to steup and be that guy. We've got Tevin (Reese), who's our deep-play threat and everybody knows it. But the good part about what we have is we've got Jay Lee, who's a deep-play threat that nobody knows. (Goodley) is a deep-play threat that people might know, but they will. Same thing with Corey Coleman and Robbie Rhodes and all those guys."
Rhodes and Coleman certainly didn't disappoint. Coleman had 55 yards on five catches, while Rhodes was the scrimmage's receiving yardage leader with 112 yards on four receptions. On the second-team offense's only TD, Rhodes outmuscled corner Joe Williams for a deep ball from Seth Russell and sprinted 78 yards for a score.
"He's a playmaker; the guy's good," Briles said of Rhodes. "You can't hide talent. You store it away, and the next thing you know it comes out of the closet and wins. He's just a talented guy, and he's good. That's why he's here, because we're a good place for receivers to go, without question."
The Bears' banged-up receiving corps, which also lost redshirt freshman Kaleb Moore to an ACL knee injury last week, added senior Darius Jones to the mix. A receiver his first two seasons, Jones switched to cornerback last year and finished with 15 tackles and one interception that he returned for a touchdown.
After a slow start by the first-team defense, which allowed a 78-yard Russell-to-Rhodes connection and a 46-yard field goal by Kyle Peterson, that unit stepped it up in the second half of the scrimmage and pitched a shutout the rest of the way. Senior defensive end Chris McAllister had two of the defense's seven sacks in a dominating four-play stretch.
"We picked it up toward the end and made a couple plays here and there, but we do need to start faster as a defense," McAllister said. "We're going to need a little more consistency as we get toward the game. But that's why it's a scrimmage. It gives us things to work on."
Petty added a six-yard TD strike to Levi Norwood and also scored on a 10-yard run.
Splitting the backfield duties, Lache Seastrunk (4-36), Devin Chafin (8-37) and Shock Linwood (8-31) combined for 104 yards on 20 attempts. Reese led all receivers with six catches for 74 yards, while Russell was 10-of-14 for 162 yards and one TD with no interceptions.
With starting specialists Zach Northern and kicker Aaron Jones both going through graduation ceremonies on Saturday, Peterson and deep snapper Jimmy Landes filled in nicely. Peterson made field goals of 42 and 46 yards, was perfect on extra points and came up just short on a 63-yarder.
Before beginning game-week preparation for the Aug. 31 season opener against Wofford, Baylor will go through one more week of preseason camp with morning workouts this week. For single-game or season-ticket information, call the Baylor Athletics ticket office at 254-710-1000.
|| SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Jay Lee 25 pass from Bryce Petty (no PAT attempt)
Kyle Peterson 42 field goal
Peterson 46 field goal
Levi Norwood 6 pass from Petty (Peterson kick)
Robbie Rhodes 78 pass from Seth Russell (no PAT attempt)
Petty 10 rush (Peterson kick)
Bryce Petty 19-27-207-2-0; Seth Russell 10-14-162-1-0; Chris Johnson 1-2-3-0-0.
Devin Chafin 8-37; Lache Seastrunk 4-36, Shock Linwood 8-31; Johnny Jefferson 10-27; Bryce Petty 3-8 TD; Seth Russell 5-(-1); Andrew Frerking 2-(-1).
Robbie Rhodes 4-112 TD; Tevin Reese 6-74; Corey Coleman 5-55; Jay Lee 4-39 TD; Brandon Brown 2-22; Jordan Najvar 1-21; Cal Spangler 2-16; Johnny Jefferson 1-15; Darius Jones 1-7; Levi Norwood 1-6 TD; Lynx Hawthorne 3-5.
Kendall Ehrlich 4-2-6; Xavien Howard 5-1-6; Eddie Lackey 3-3-6; Chris McAllister 2-3-5; K.J. Morton 4-1-5; Orion Stewart 3-2-5; Taylor Young 1-4-5; Terrell Burt 1-3-4; Brian Nance 2-2-4; Alfred Pullom 1-3-4; Byron Bonds 1-2-3; Terell Brooks 1-1-3; Aiavion Edwards 1-2-3; Kiante' Griffin 2-1-3; Bryce Hager 2-1-3; Prince Kent 2-1-3; Ryan Reid 2-1-3; Taion Sells 3-0-3; Peni Tagive 2-1-3; Anthony Webb 1-2-3; Baylor Black 0-2-2; Raaquan Davis 0-2-2; Zorrell Ezell 1-1-2; Demetri Goodson 1-1-2; Sam Holl 1-1-2; Suleiman Masumbuko 0-2-2; Sam Ukwuachu 2-0-2; Joe Williams 2-0-2; Beau Blackshear 0-1-1; Travon Blanchard 0-1-1; Jamal Palmer 1-0-1; Brody Trahan 1-0-1
Chris McAllister 2; Bryce Hager 1; Eddie Lackey 1; Brian Nance 1; Peni Tagive 1; Sam Ukwuachu 1
TACKLES FOR LOSS
Chris McAllister 2; Sam Ukwuachu 2; Byron Bonds 1; Terell Brooks 1; Bryce Hager 1; Sam Holl 1; Eddie Lackey 1; K.J. Morton 1; Brian Nance 1; Peni Tagive 1
DEFLECTIONS / PASS BREAKUPS
Travon Blanchard 1; K.J. Morton 1; Ryan Reid 1; Tyler Stephenson 1
Xavien Howard 1; Prince Kent 1
Xavien Howard 1; Jamal Palmer 1
|| POST-SCRIMMAGE QUOTES
"I saw some good things. I thought we flashed a little bit, but I just don't think we stayed real consistent on both sides of the ball. Special teams was really pretty good for this stage in the camp. Offensively we made some plays, defensively we made some plays and gave up some. We had a turnover offensively and had a three and out and you can't do that. When you get the ball we got to score and when we are on defense we have to stop them. We will keep working and practicing for perfection, because that is when you reach it is when you get there."
On Bryce Petty:
"I thought he was pretty good. I will have to go look at the tape, but I think he made one bad decision on the second drive when he took a sack. That is just a mental thing that we haven't gone over and we haven't seen that look. He will be ready the next time and he will never do it again. I thought the ball was really accurate and he threw really well just like last week. He has been extremely, extremely good, especially deep. If we keep doing that we are going to be a pretty tough team to play against."
On Robbie Rhodes:
"He is good. He has had talent stored away. He is just a talented guy and that is good. It is why he is here. This is a good place for receivers to go without any question."
On the scrimmage:
"We have got to clean it up. That is what scrimmages are for, especially in college where you don't have any kind of tune up games or anything. Our first game is when it counts. We have to make sure that we hit the ground running. Today the offense was up and down, but you have to make sure that as a unit that we get through those and keep battling."
On his expectation of himself heading into scrimmages:
"You want to score. The personal thing for me is that I want to score and I want to be good. I want to be decisive and help move the offense, because it kind of runs through the quarterback. I felt like we did that, but at the end of the day we didn't finish. That kind of takes away some of the checklist for me. We have to make sure that we finish. We will be fine and we will be ready. We did the things that we needed to do today, but we just have to clean them up. It is all about cleaning things up for us right now."
On defense's play in the scrimmage:
"I feel we started a little slow today, but we picked it towards the end and made a couple plays here and there. We do need to start faster as a defense for sure."
On the importance of the scrimmage:
"There is a lot of emphasis on every scrimmage. Guys are competing for playing time right now and you want to know that your starters are going to play good and that the backups are going to come in and there won't be a drop off there. Every time we scrimmage there is a lot of emphasis, but this one you want to be sharp because it is getting closer and closer to the first game."