WACO, Texas — Baylor backup quarterback Seth Russell threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns while playing only the first half, freshman KD Cannon caught three of those scores and No. 10 Baylor overwhelmed FCS team Northwestern State 70-6 on Saturday night.
Cannon went streaking past the secondary for TD catches of 50, 81 and 42 yards in the first quarter. He finished with six catches for 223 yards, the second-most in school history even without playing after halftime.
The Bears (2-0) came through just fine without senor quarterback Bryce Petty, the reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year, and several injured top receivers. They won their 12th straight home game, and have scored at least 69 points six times in that streak.
Petty cracked two small bones in his back after taking a hit on his first series in the home season opener. Coach Art Briles had said Petty wouldn’t play unless he was 100 percent healthy.
Northwestern State (0-2) got only a pair of field goals by Chris Moore (25 and 28 yards) and lost its 17th game in a row against FBS teams since 2005.
Russell completed 16 of 25 passes for the most yards passing in a single half in school history, and third-most in a game, as Baylor built a 49-3 lead. He had only 427 yards in his seven games as a freshman last season, mostly in the second half of blowout victories Petty started, and threw for 121 yards in the second half of the 45-0 win over SMU last week.
The Bears were also without Antwan Goodley (quad) and Levi Norwood (wrist), their top two receivers from last season who also got hurt in the opener, while fellow senior receiver Clay Fuller is still recovering from a broken collarbone.
In a span of 1:11 just before halftime, Jay Lee had a 61-yard TD catch and freshman Davion Hall had a 57-yard score.
Freshman running back Johnny Jefferson ran 20 times for 107 yards. His 2-yard TD in the third quarter capped an 11-play, 49-yard drive in which he ran on every play.
The start of the game was delayed 16 minutes after a storm system with lightning and heavy rain rolled through the area before players took the field for warmups.
Once the game started, Baylor led 14-0 in less than 5 minutes. Russell hit Cannon for the 50-yarder, then ran 3 yards for a score after Xavien Howard’s second interception of the season for Baylor, an acrobatic pick along the sideline.
Instead of his usual No. 32 jersey, running back Shock Linwood wore the No. 5 of injured teammate Goodley on the receiver’s 23rd birthday and did a nice early impression of a receiver.
Linwood’s 24-yard catch to midfield came a play before the first Baylor touchdown. He caught another pass for 29 yards on Baylor’s second offensive possession, and had a 2-yard TD run before halftime.
Baylor won’t play again in its new $266 million riverfront campus stadium for more than a month. The Bears have three consecutive road games and an open date before playing at home Oct. 11 against TCU.