Baylor pulls away from KU after delay
Published on -11/4/2012, 9:27 AM
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor's offense has piled up big numbers in Big 12 play this season.
With a little help from their defense, the Bears now have something to show for those prolific stats.
Nick Florence threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns, running back Lache Seastrunk had 194 total yards and Baylor won its first Big 12 game of the season, beating Kansas 41-14 Saturday.
Baylor (4-4, 1-4) led 20-14 at halftime before pulling away in the second half to snap a four-game losing streak.
"This is the first time I've felt good in a month," Bears coach Art Briles said. "I wish I was being funny. This gives you a good feeling, and that's important. We'd love for this to take off and go."
While the Bears are averaging well over 40 points a game on offense, their defense struggled mightily during their skid.
Baylor allowed 210 points over the past four games and forced only two turnovers in that span. The Bears' defense stepped up in the third quarter with a key fourth-down stop and two interceptions.
"We were just on one accord tonight," Baylor linebacker Ahmad Dixon said. "Hopefully, it rolls over into next week. We just have to stay focused."
Florence was 26 of 42 and surpassed 3,000 yards passing for the season. The senior had touchdown passes of 11, 68 and 40 yards.
The Bears need two more victories to become bowl eligible. Baylor goes to 14th-ranked Oklahoma and plays three games in Texas. They take on No. 3 Kansas State and Oklahoma State at home, and face No. 20 Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium.
"I feel like the monkey is off our back," Florence said. "We still have a long ways to go. We have to get two more wins with a tough schedule ahead of us."
James Sims had 126 rushing yards for Kansas (1-8, 0-6), which lost its eighth in a row and 18th straight Big 12 game. The Jayhawks last won a conference game on Nov. 6, 2010, against Colorado, now of the Pac-12.
Kansas came off a last-second, 21-17 loss to Texas last weekend. They Jayhawks were close in this one until sputtering in the second half.
"We came out in the third quarter, and things didn't go so well," Kansas coach Charlie Weis said.
Glasco Martin rushed for 157 yards and Terrance Williams had 11 catches for 137 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown on Baylor's opening drive.
In last season's matchup, Kansas led 24-3 in the fourth quarter before Baylor eventually won in overtime behind Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
The Bears didn't need any late comebacks against a rebuilding Jayhawks squad which hasn't won since its season opener.
The Bears stuffed Taylor Cox's fourth-and-2 run on the first drive of the second half. Baylor capitalized four plays later on Bryce Petty's 1-yard TD run.
After Dixon intercepted a pass at the Kansas 40, Florence had a 7-yard TD run to extend Baylor's lead to 34-14 with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter.
The senior quarterback added a 40-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Reese in the fourth quarter as the Bears finished with 666 total yards.
Florence came into the game leading the nation in passing yards. He now has 3,019 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Florence hit 5 of 6 passes on the opening drive of the game.
Seastrunk, a transfer from Oregon who sat out last season, broke free in the Kansas secondary and caught a 68-yard touchdown pass to push Baylor's lead to 14-0 in the first quarter, the Bears' 11th play of 50 or more yards this season. Seastrunk had 103 yards rushing and 91 receiving.
"He's a special player," Florence said. "He's been patient. It's taken some time to get this offense down."
Sims' 58-yard touchdown run cut the deficit to 14-7. The junior has rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight games.
Kansas quarterback Michael Cummings, who made his third career start just 60 miles away from his hometown of Killeen, added a 22-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Aaron Jones kicked two field goals in the second quarter, including a 22-yarder that put the Bears up 20-14 just before halftime.
The game was delayed for 46 minutes just before the start of the third quarter after lightning was reported within 7 miles of Floyd Casey Stadium.
Fans were advised to take cover for an incoming storm, but it barely rained during the stoppage. There was a light rain at the start of the third quarter that let up after several minutes.