LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Baylor engine took a while to warm up. There was some sputtering, a little backfire from the exhaust pipes. It coughed and chugged and lurched through two offensive series.
On the third, the Bears were back to humming like a sports car.
Bryce Petty threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns in fewer than three quarters, Lache Seastrunk ran for 109 yards and a score and the sixth-ranked Bears eventually routed Kansas 59-14 Saturday night for their school-record 11th straight win.
“We had to get in synch,” explained Seastrunk, who also played little more than a half. “When you turn on a car, sometimes a car might turn on the first time. We kind of stalled out a little bit, like you’re learning to drive a stick. But we got going.”
Once they got going, the Jayhawks were merely a speed bump.
The Bears (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) piled up 500 yards of offense in taking a 38-0 lead by halftime, and then relaxed as coach Art Briles pulled many of his starters in the third quarter.
The nation’s highest-scoring offense still finished with 743 yards, and eight of its nine scoring drives took fewer than 2 minutes. Four different Baylor players had touchdown runs — Petty among them — while Tevin Reese hauled in two of his three TD tosses.
“It took us a while to get out there, but once we did, we settled down and played our game, and that’s what’s important,” Petty said. “When we hone in on what we do, there’s not a team in the country that can stop us, and I’m very confident of that.”
Jake Heaps was held to just 85 yards passing and a touchdown for Kansas (2-5, 0-4), which has now lost 25 consecutive Big 12 games. He split time with freshman Montell Cozart, who was 4 of 14 for 69 yards and also lost a fumble that led to one of Baylor’s touchdowns.
Brandon Bourbon had a 22-yard touchdown run for the Jayhawks.
The Bears have scored at least 50 points six times in seven games, and the result has been the program’s first 7-0 start since 1980. The once-downtrodden school hasn’t lost since Nov. 10, 2012, at Oklahoma — the same high-profile program that’s next up for Baylor on Nov. 7.
“We just wanted to get this win tonight, and then we know we have OU coming up in 10 or 11 games,” Briles said. “It’s like we talk about every week, it’s a new season.”
The Bears struggled on their first two series, punting each time, and a paltry crowd bundled up against the chilly autumn air had reason to hope for a monumental upset.
Baylor put an end to that with four brutally efficient drives.
Petty started the scoring rush when he threw a 62-yard strike to Reese. After the Jayhawks went three-and-out, Seastrunk got loose on a hip-swiveling scamper over the right side that turned into a 29-yard touchdown run. Kansas went three-and-out again, and Glasco Martin capped an 82-yard drive with a TD run. Petty finished off the scoring burst with a TD run of his own.
In a span of roughly 12 minutes, the Bears had built a 28-0 lead.
Baylor tacked on a field goal later in the second quarter, and a 25-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Reese with 2 minutes remaining made it 38-0 at the break.
It also sent the few fans that were left in the stands scattering for the exits.
“They’re very dynamic,” Kansas defensive tackle Keon Stowers said. “What their receivers do, they run routes according to your set as a defensive back. So if you’re set outside, they’re going to run an inside route, even if it wasn’t called before that. They do a really good job.”
That was what happened early in the second half, when Corey Coleman ran down the sideline and caught Petty’s 49-yard pass for another touchdown. That was enough for Briles to start giving his vast collection of stars the rest of the night off.
Bourbon’s touchdown run off an option pitch got Kansas within 45-7, but Shock Linwood matched him with a TD run for Baylor. Rodriguez Coleman hauled in a 30-yard TD strike from Heaps later in the fourth quarter, only for Linwood to add a 68-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.
“When we can play that way as a football team, we’re going to be a tough out,” Briles said. “We’re playing really, really good defense, we’ve got guys that are very explosive offensively and we have a great offensive line. We’re a tough football team.”