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Petty powers Baylor to rout of Buffalo

Sep 13, 2014 - 6:53 AM Buffalo, NY ( - Bryce Petty returned from a back injury and threw four touchdown passes as the No. 8 Baylor Bears crushed Buffalo, 63-21, on Friday night.

Petty, a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, chipped two bones in his back in Baylor's season opener and missed last week's 70-6 rout over Northwestern State. He played nearly three quarters in this one and completed 23-of-34 passes for 416 yards.

The senior quarterback has thrown at least two touchdown passes in all 15 career starts.

"I wasn't really curious, I just wanted him to get comfortable. We know what he can do, I think he is the best quarterback in the country in college football," said Baylor coach Art Briles. "The fact of him getting out there with different personnel was a big deal. We have young receivers and running backs. For him to come into a situation like that in his first road game of the year against a team that was hungry to beat us, I think he did exceptionally well."

True freshman sensation K.D. Cannon had another impressive performance for Baylor (3-0), catching six passes for 189 yards and a score. In his first three games with the Bears, Cannon has accounted for an incredible 471 yards and five TDs.

Jay Lee and Lynx Hawthorne had 136 and 123 receiving yards, respectively, with two touchdowns apiece, and Shock Linwood ran 20 times for 97 yards and two more scores.

Buffalo (1-2) signal-caller Joe Licata passed for 171 yards and a touchdown and Anthone Taylor had a rushing score in defeat.

"Disappointing loss against a very good football team, quality opponent," said Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn. "I give a lot of credit to Baylor. They certainly came in with a good, solid plan and they executed it extremely well."

Baylor was forced to use a pair of timeouts and convert a fourth down and two third downs on its first drive before Linwood scored from two yards out. The drive spanned 12 plays, Baylor's second longest of the season.

Licata overthrew a wide open Marcus McGill on Buffalo's next series and Baylor capitalized on the mistake, with Petty finding Cannon for an 89-yard score down the right sideline less than a minute later.

Linwood added a 24-yard TD run later in the first quarter and on the fourth play of the second, Petty found a streaking Lee in the end zone for a 30-yard score.

Johnny Jefferson sent the Bears into halftime up 35-0 with his 14-yard touchdown run late in the half.

Buffalo's offense woke up in the second half. Licata found Devon Hughes for a 41-yard touchdown on its first drive out of the locker rooms and 2 1/2 minutes later, Taylor ran 41 yards to the end zone.

Baylor matched both scores, though, with Petty finding Hawthorne and Lee for touchdowns of 18 and 14 yards, respectively.

Seth Russell, who threw for 438 yards and accounted for six total touchdowns in the first half last week while Petty was banged up, ran 31 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 56-14. Following a Buffalo fumble, Russell hooked up with Hawthorne for a 37-yard touchdown.

With the game well out reach, Bulls backup Tony Daniel found Malcolm Robinson for a touchdown that accounted for the final margin.

Game Notes

Baylor leads the all-time series, 4-0 ... The Bears started 3-0 for the fourth straight season. They have never previously done that in school history ... Baylor still hasn't allowed a sack this season ... Baylor has posted at least 400 yards of offense in 42 of its last 43 games ... Baylor outgained Buffalo, 669-394.