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Football Hits the Road to Take on Duke

Sept. 16 | 11:30 a.m. CT | Wallace Wade Stadium | Durham, N.C.
ACC RSN / FSSW | Radio | Live Stats | Twitter | Digital Guide
Game Notes: Baylor | Duke | Big 12 | ACC

Talent: Wes Durham (pxp), James Bates (analyst), Rebecca Kaple (sideline)
Radio: Baylor IMG Sports Network / ESPN Central Texas
Talent: John Morris (pxp), J.J. Joe (analyst), Ricky Thompson (sideline)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 119 / XM 202 / Internet 971
Live Stats/In-Game Home:
Twitter: @BUFootball | #SicDuke


0-2, 0-0 Big 12
Ranking NR: - AP, NR - Coaches
Last Game: Sept. 9, 2017 loss vs. UTSA, 17-10
Head Coach: Matt Rhule (Penn State, '97)
Career Record: 28-25 (5th season)
BU Record: 0-2 (1st season)
vs. Duke: 0-0


2-0, 0-0 CUSA
Ranking NR: - AP, NR - Coaches
Last Game: Sept. 9, 2017 win vs. Northwestern, 41-17
Head Coach: David Cutcliffe (Alabama, `76)
Career Record: 98-90 (16th season)
Duke Record: 54-61 (10th season)
vs. BU: 0-0

• Baylor hits the road for the first time in 2017 traveling to Durham, North Carolina to face Duke. It is the first meeting between the two programs since 1958, a 12-7 win for the Blue Devils.
• The trip to Duke is the first P5 non-conference road game for Baylor since 2009 at Wake Forest.
• The Blue Devils will make a return trip to McLane Stadium on Sept. 15, 2018.
• Sophomore QB Zach Smith will make his first start of the season (fifth career) at Duke.
• Baylor is playing its 116th season of football and first under Rhule, who completed a successful four-year term at Temple from 2013-16. Baylor holds a 588-559-44 (.512) record all-time.
• The Bears' 18 first-time starters, including five freshman, thus far in 2017 are the most in FBS.
• Baylor has had 15 true freshmen appear in a game in 2017, the fifth-largest total nationally.
John Lovett's 161 rushing yards are the most by a Baylor freshman through his first two games since at least 1999 and the seventh-most in the first two games by any back in that period.
• Six of Baylor's seven touchdown scoring drives on the season have lasted two minutes or less.
Chris Platt leads the Baylor receiving corps with a reception in eight straight games and 14 of the last 15 contests. He leads the Bears with 160 yards receiving this season.
• Platt (7th, 160 yds) and Denzel Mims (9th, 147 yds) both rank among Big 12 top 10 receivers.
• Baylor assistant coaches own 37 combined years of NFL experience, tops in college football.
Clay Johnston ranks second in the Big 12 with 12 solo tackles and fifth with 16 total stops.
• Underclassmen account for 58.9% (94 of 156) of Baylor's tackles through two games.
• Freshmen & sophomores are responsible for 56.8% (506 of 891) of Baylor's all-purpose yards.
• Baylor's ranks third in the Big 12 and 28th nationally with 16.0 tackles for loss.
• BU has 14 former players on NFL rosters entering the 2017 season, including 11 different teams.
• Baylor football has completed more than 1,000 hours of community service since January 2017.
• With Kyle Fuller's selection by Houston in 2017, Baylor has had at least one NFL draft pick for nine straight years. The Bears have had 25 players selected since 2011, including eight offensive linemen in the last nine years.
• The Bears capped the 2016 season with a Cactus Bowl win in their program-record seventh straight bowl appearance. BU had a program record 7+ wins in a season for the 7th straight year in 2016.
• Baylor has had seven consecutive seasons with a 1,000 yard rusher including junior Terence Williams (1,048 yds) who is back for 2017 as one of four returning 1K rushers in the Big 12.
• Just two months on the job, Rhule and his staff signed 27 players in February, a class that ranked 3rd in the Big 12. The Bears signed 20 players from the state of Texas, tops in the Big 12.

The Bears at back on the Brazos next week when No. 2 Oklahoma visits McLane Stadium in the Big 12 opener for both teams. The Sooners are 2-0 on the season including a 31-16 road win at No. 8 Ohio State last week. Lincoln Riley is in his first year as head coach at OU. Baylor fell 45-24 to the Sooners last season in Norman. Baylor trails the all-time series 23-3 with victories in 2011 and 2013-14.

• Baylor has played 15 true freshman over the first two weeks, a total that ranks fifth nationally.
• The Bears have also played a pair of redshirt freshmen thus far. BU started five true freshmen and one redshirt freshman in week two against UTSA. Both redshirt freshmen (DE Deonte Williams and DB Jairon McVea) have also started a game.
• So far in 2017, BU has had 18 players make their first-ever collegiate starts and 20 players make first BU appearance.
• Three true freshmen: CB Harrison Hand, LB Jalen Pitre and OL Ryan Miller have started both games in 2017.
• Baylor opened the 2017 season with four true and redshirt freshmen in the starting lineup (OL Ryan Miller, CB Harrison Hand, LB Jalen Pitre and S Jairon McVea).
• The Bears had 16 players make their first appearance in a BU uniform, including 13 true and redshirt freshmen.
• Ten players made their first-ever start for Baylor in the opening week game. Additionally, two transfers Anu Solomon and Jayson Clements had their first Baylor action after playing time at their previous schools.
• Baylor's 11 true freshman that played in the opener ranked sixth nationally and its three true freshman starters in the first game was behind only LSU's four.

Freshman running back John Lovett opened his Baylor career with a strong performance against Liberty. The New Jersey native rushed for 89 yards on 14 carries, the most yards on the ground by a Baylor running back in his first game since at least 2000. Lovett also added a pair of touchdowns from 3 and 34 yards out. He's the first Baylor freshman with 2 TD in a game since Nick Florence in 2009. Lovett added 72 yards against UTSA. He's tallied 161 rushing yards, the seventh best total for a Baylor runner since 1999 through the season's first two games and the most in that period by a freshman. Lovett's two-game total of 161 yards leads all Big 12 freshmen and ranks eighth nationally for first-year players.

The Bears have had six scoring drives of two minutes or less through the season's first two weeks. Five of Baylor's seven scoring drives against Liberty lasted two minutes or less including a 3-play, 75-yard drive that took only 22 seconds and a 1-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took only 11 seconds off the clock. Both of those drives included deep pass completions, a 49-yarder to Pooh Stricklin and a 75-yard scoring strike to Chris Platt. Baylor's only touchdown drive against UTSA was a first-play touchdown pass from Solomon to Denzel Mims and lasted only six seconds.

• Baylor QB Anu Solomon has made use of a deep group of Baylor pass catchers through the first two games of the season.
• The Bears have had three receivers with three or more catches in both games in 2017. Chris Platt (7th, 160 yds) and Denzel Mims (9th, 147 yds) both rank among Big 12's top 10 receivers.
• Both Platt and Mims have two receiving touchdowns on the season. Mims is averaging 29.4 yards/reception (9th, FBS).
• Platt leads the Baylor receiving corps with a reception in eight straight games and 14 of the last 15 contests.
• Baylor's four pass completions of 40+ yards are fifth-most in FBS.

Despite not achieving the desired result on the scoreboard against UTSA, Baylor's young defense took a step forward against the Roadrunners. With four freshmen and three sophomores in the starting lineup, the Bears defense held UTSA to 210 less yards of total offense than the week before while registering three sacks and six tackles for loss. BU also surrendered only 17 points. Through the first two games of the season, underclassmen have tallied 60.3 percent (94-of-156) of the team's tackles along with half of its TFL and pass breakups.

Baylor began a new era in 2017 with head coach Matt Rhule taking the helm of the program. Rhule came to Baylor from Temple, where he led the Owls to consecutive 10-win seasons and a 2016 American Athletic Conference championship with two bowl berths. Rhule spent four seasons as Temple head coach picking up 28 victories in his tenure.




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