WACO, Texas (AP) – Abram Smith and Tristan Ebner rushed for more than 100 yards in the first half, and Baylor scored touchdowns in his first seven possessions in a 66-7 victory over Texas Southern on Saturday night .
Gerry Bohanon went 16-for-21 for 240 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two runs for the Bears (2-0). Baylor beat Texas Southern 458-52 in the first half and 714-283 overall to match last season’s total wins, when the Bears were 2-7.
“I was impressed the week it started,” Baylor coach Dave Aranda said after his first home game without a conference with the Bears, who did not play outside the Big 12 due to the pandemic in the his debut in 2020. “I think some of that had to do with the second week, knowing what to expect. The main piece was, ‘We’re here, we can go there, we can do this. Look at what we can become. “
Smith ran 126 yards and two touchdowns in 12 runs, and Ebner added 125 yards on 10 attempts, the second week in a row eclipsed the century mark.
Taye McWilliams arrived late and had 102 yards and a six-yard touchdown, giving the Bears three 100-yard runs for the first time since Sept. 12, 2015, against Lamar.
The Bears ’419 yards were the most they’ve had in a game since they put up 469 on Oct. 1, 2016 against Iowa State.
Tyquan Thornton led Baylor with five 103-yard catches and two touchdowns, and Ebner added 70 yards and a four-yard touchdown run.
“The coach has challenged me, Tyquan and some of the other deep ball receivers in this game,” Bohanon said. “We didn’t connect well in the last game, so this week was a big emphasis for us. We did the job.”
Prior to winning last week at Texas State, Baylor had not had two 100-yard runs in a single game since opening the 2018 season against Abilene Christian.
Jalen Brown was 7 of 12 for 96 yards passing Texas Southern (0-2).
“He made some first-year mistakes, which we hope, but he also made some plays,” said Texas Southern coach Clarence McKinney. “Sometimes he kept the sticks alive, and games like this will only help him.”
FOOD FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Texas Southern: The Tigers can get some positives in that they didn’t have any penalties in the first half and didn’t turn the ball around until the fourth quarter. But they were completely outscored and didn’t move the ball inside Baylor’s 40-yard line until they had less than six minutes left for the third quarter.
Baylor: The Bears did what they had to do against an inferior opponent. They started fast, never let go and scored on all possessions except when they got on one knee to end the match. At one point in the fourth quarter, Baylor spent 288 yards and 288 running.
“KICK IN THE GUT”
Baylor athletic director Mack Rhodes and Big 12 curator Bob Bowlsby addressed the media at McLane Stadium ahead of Saturday’s game.
The couple discussed how they handled the news that Texas and Oklahoma were leaving the Big 12 and the mindset of adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the conference.
“For all of us initially, it was a kick in the gut,” Rhodes said. “We entered this phase of understanding that we have a special group of eight teams, and now, how do we strengthen it? What are these pieces that will make us even better and relevant nationally to move forward? “
Bowlsby said he has not received “any indication” that Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12 before the end of their “rights concession,” which will run until June 30, 2025.
The people of Baylor gave a first indication of the reception Texas will receive from the Big 12 enemies when it hits the road this season. One of the loudest applause of the second half, when Baylor had the game well on hand, came when the Longhorns ’40-21 defeat to Arkansas was announced.
Texas Southern has a week off before a game against Rice.
Baylor opens the Big 12 with a road game against Kansas next Saturday.
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