Aug. 26, 2008
By Taylor Eastman
Football season finally returned to Texas on Saturday, Sept. 23, 1961. In front of a crowd of 28,000 screaming fans, the Baylor Bears played host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the season opener at 11-year-old Baylor Stadium.
With unstoppable backfield speed and good passing, the Bears opened their '61 season with a 31-0 win over the Demon Deacons.
Baylor's success did not carry over into conference play as they finished 2-5 in the Southwest Conference. However, the Bears made an appearance in New York City's Gotham Bowl in December. BU defeated the Utah State Aggies 24-9.
"We did real well in the first quarter and got the game under control," Baylor head coach John Bridgers said. "Wake Forest was jittery at first and we took advantage of it."
The Bears benefited from the Deacons' four first-half turnovers to take a 17-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
Halftime didn't seem to be enough for Wake Forest's defense to develop a plan to put Baylor's offense to rest and its struggle continued into the second half.
"Even though we prepared for them, we didn't expect to get beat this bad," said Wake Coach Bill Hildebrand. "When you get as far behind as we did, you just can't catch up."
In the third quarter, the Bears added another touchdown to the scoreboard and went on to clinch victory, 31-0, in the fourth.
Wake Forest guard Fred Smith did not deny Baylor all-conference fullback Ronnie Bull any credit after the game.
"Their speed did it to us," Smith said. "I don't have to say anything about Bull, his performance speaks for itself."
Bull led the Bears offense with two touchdowns and managed 74 of the Bears' 305 yards rushing.
The 31-0 win was the last time Baylor and Wake Forest have squared off in football.