WACO, Texas -- Robert Griffin, his arm unaffected by his sore right knee, threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns before halftime then watched after that as the Bears beat Northwestern State 68-13 Saturday night in their highest-scoring game in 67 years.
After Griffin helped push Baylor (2-1) to its highest-scoring first half in 15 years, Jason Lamb (25 yards) and Chance Casey (66 yards) returned interceptions for touchdowns in third quarter.
Griffin got hurt when he was tackled hard by Gary Riggs and stopped for no gain on fourth-and-2 to end the game's opening drive. The standout sophomore remained on the ground for several minutes while Baylor students chanted his name, then walked gingerly to the sideline.
But Griffin, with his knee and lower right leg heavily wrapped, didn't missed a snap before halftime. The Bears were up 41-10 at the break, their most first-half points since 49 in a 54-20 victory at San Jose State in 1994.
Northwestern State (0-4), a Football Championship Subdivision team from Louisiana, drove for a touchdown while Griffin was being tended to on the sideline. Griffin then led Baylor to four touchdowns in an eight-minute span, throwing TDs of 42 and 38 yards to Kendall Wright while Terrance Ganaway (1 yard) and Jarred Salubi (76 yards) ran for scores.
Wright had five catches for 105 yards.
Baylor officials said Griffin, who finished 13-of-19 passing with a 42-yard TD to David Gettis only 2 seconds before halftime, would have an MRI Sunday. Griffin said he hyperextended his knee.
Blake Szymanski, a senior who was a starter before Griffin arrived on campus, took over after halftime and was 3-of-5 for 58 yards and a touchdown.
The Bears finished with their highest point total since a 68-0 victory over Blackland AAF in 1942. They could have had more, but after reaching the Northwestern State 4 on second down early in the fourth quarter, coach Art Briles had his team take a knee on three straight plays, and they punted for the only time with less than two minutes left.
Griffin accounted for 28 TDs (15 passing, 13 rushing) as an 18-year-old freshman last year. Baylor came into this season with big expectations, such as breaking its 15-year bowl drought which matches Duke for the longest for a team playing in a Football Bowl Subdivision conference, based largely on the quarterback.
Bears starting tailback Jay Finley didn't dress out because of an ankle injury.
A week after Finley's 72-yard TD run was Baylor's longest in 12 years, Salubi busted through the right side of the line and was untouched until a defender caught up with him near the 10. But the defender slipped off his back and the 76-yard TD made it 28-7.
Nike Men's Baylor Bears Green Football Icon Legend T-ShirtShop
Three more women have joined a federal Title IX lawsuit filed earlier this month against Baylor claiming the school was indifferent to or ignored claims of sexual assault.
If Arizona can stay healthy on defense, they have a good chance at success based on the trio of Sani Fuimaono, Paul Magloire Jr. and DaVonte' Neal.
Answering Big 12 questions about expansion, Oklahoma State's Jordan Sterns and more.
Duke's program has turned a corner under coach David Cutcliffe, and will be trying to create early momentum when it travels to Northwestern.
Kentucky faces a tough stretch in the middle of the season, but a six-win season and bowl berth are reachable goals.
The Ducks' quarterback battle betweek Dakota Prukop and Travis Jonsen is intriguing, but whoever gets the nod can lean on these two skill players.
|Sam Houston State||7-2||11-4|
|Stephen F Austin||4-5||4-7|