The No.8 Baylor Bears arrived in western New York on Thursday as a prohibitive favorite over the Buffalo Bulls in Friday night’s showcase game. According to Sportsline.com, Baylor is a 33 point favorite against Buffalo.
Although the game isn’t expected to be much of a contest, there will be some intriguing moments once Baylor takes the field. Quarterback Bryce Petty is coming back after a weeklong hiatus due to an injured back. As long as Petty can withstand the pain, he should be able to perform throughout the season. However, there’s a feeling that his back issue will be continue throughout the rest of the season.
Hopefully, Bryce Petty is really back to 100 percent and he is not rushing to get back in the fold. This has been the most anticipated Baylor season in the history of the program, and so far, so good. They’ve opened a brand new stadium, while showcasing the same prolific offense under Art Briles. There’s only been one problem with Baylor’s attack so far.
Many of Baylor’s biggest offensive stars haven’t had an impact on the season. Starting wide receivers, Levi Norwood and Antwan Goodley have barely seen the field due to injury. That’s in addition to Bryce Petty’s one half of play this season. It’s safe to say that none of them will lose their jobs due to these injuries, but they could take a back seat to some of the future Baylor stars that have shone bright. Corey Coleman and running back Devin Chafin are also out of Friday’s contest, but there should be plenty of opportunities for more athletes to make plays.
Seth Russell has filled in nicely for Baylor at quarterback, and quite frankly, he may have filled in too well. Russell passed for 438 yards and five touchdowns against Northwestern State. Six of his completions went to K.D. Cannon for 223 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition to the gaudy passing numbers, two Baylor running backs surpassed the 100 yard mark, and Rashodrick Linwood wasn’t one of them. Linwood will likely not be needed against Buffalo either. Honestly, this game is only important if Buffalo pulled off the upset. Otherwise, it’s just another tune-up for Baylor as they enter Big 12 play.
Defensively, Baylor has only given up six points in two games. They won’t be able to continue to hold teams without a touchdown, but they’ve had an incredible start to the year. Buffalo has scored 38 and 39 points in the first two games of the season. The Bulls offense should put some pressure on Baylor early in the game.
Buffalo has an adequate pass defense, but this will be the best opponent they’ve played this season. The Bears are unique challenge for any team, thus it will be especially difficult for Buffalo change gears from Army to Baylor.
Baylor is just setting itself up for a Big 12 and college football playoff run. Unless something disastrous happens, the Bears could probably name their score on Friday night. We’re taking Baylor in a rout.