Baylor got the nation’s attention on Saturday by torching West Virginia 73-42, but the Bears have been doing that all season long. We set out to come up with five key stats that explain just how good this offense is, but like Baylor, we just couldn’t help ourselves and came up with a lot more points.
1. Petty’s monster start
The list of Bryce Petty stats is a long one, so here we go. He’s No. 1 in the country in yards per attempt (14.65) and yards per completion (20.12). He’s best in FBS in raw QBR (98.1) and opponent-adjusted QBR (97.7). He leads the Big 12 in completion percentage and touchdown passes.
He’s averaging 52.1 yards on his 10 touchdown passes. He’s No. 94 in FBS in pass attempts per game at 22. He’s picked up a first down on 50 of 67 completions. He’s gaining an average of 18.9 yards on his first-down completions. On third downs, he’s 12-for-14 passing with an FBS-best 22.8 yards per attempt. He’s picking up 10 or more yards on 73 percent of his completions. Oh, and he’s thrown one interception and taken one sack.
2. When Petty doesn’t play
Take a look at all the time Petty has missed. The fact he’s yet to appear in a fourth quarter this year is impressive. Petty has been pulled with roughly 24, 26, 28 and 19 minutes left in Baylor’s games. That means Petty has been benched for 41.5 percent of Baylor games due to blowouts. He’s been pulled with a total of 99:39 in game time remaining, equivalent of more than 1.5 games. Excluding kneel-downs to end halves, Petty has played in 38 Baylor offensive drives and has sat out 22.
When does the coaching staff decide enough is enough? In three of those games, it was after the Bears hit 63 points. Baylor is averaging 60.2 points per game when Petty is playing and has an average lead of 49 points when he exits.
3. Less is more for Seastrunk
In a year with so many elite QBs around the country, Lache Seastrunk will probably need big-time numbers (and a lot of wins) to become a Heisman finalist. He’s off to a good start, but like Petty his usage has been limited by the blowouts.
Seastrunk is No. 1 in the Big 12 in rushing (589 yards) and is No. 13 in the conference in rushing attempts (53). He has gained 10-plus yards on 20 of his carries and 15-plus on 10. Seastrunk is averaging 10 yards per carry on his 33 first-down rushes. He’s gained a first down on half of his carries. Dating back to last season, he’s rushed for 100 yards in eight straight game and touchdowns in six straight games.
But due in part to the rise of Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin and the return of Glasco Martin, Seastrunk has only received 32.1 percent of the carries among Baylor running backs and has accounted for just 42.4 percent of the Bears’ rushing yards. He's record a grand total of two carries in the second half this season. Seriously. That will change soon.
4. The rise of Goodley
Baylor already had one of the conference's best receivers in Tevin Reese, but junior Antwan Goodley has become a breakout star. He’s now leading the Big 12 in receiving at 540 yards and yards per catch with 25.7, which is best in FBS. He took that Big 12 receiving lead despite being tied for eighth in the conference in receptions with 21. He’s only been targeting 26 times this season.
Baylor has picked up first downs on 18 of Goodley’s 21 catches and touchdowns on five of those catches. Four of his five touchdowns have gone 60-plus yards. He is the Bears’ go-to guys on third downs, accounting for 273 yards and three touchdowns on seven catches. Yes, that’s 39 yards per catch on third downs.
5. Pure efficiency
We didn’t even dive deep into the team stats, but they’re just as baffling through four games. Baylor is, of course, No. 1 in FBS in points per game (70.5), yards per game (779.5), yards per play (9.62), passing yards per game (432.25) and passing yards per attempt (14.17). Art Briles said after the West Virginia win that his offense’s goal is predictable outcomes. The Bears execute with high tempo and high efficiency, and it shows in the scoring. Forty percent – 14 of 35 – of Baylor’s scoring drives end in a minute or less. The Bears have scored in two minutes or less 29 times. No team in FBS has scored 28-plus points in more than two quarters this season. Baylor did so seven times in its first 14 quarters of 2013.
Let’s see, how many stats is that … almost 50, right? Researching all that took way more time than the average Baylor scoring drive, but there’s no doubt it was nowhere near as hard as the task of defending this offense.