WACO (AP) — Seth Russell matched a school record with six touchdown passes, three of his five in the first half to Corey Coleman, and No. 5 Baylor wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a 70-17 romp over Rice on Saturday.
Russell threw for 277 yards and Shock Linwood ran for 158 with a score as the Bears (3-0) extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 18 games, including the first eight at their campus stadium on the Brazos River.
Baylor, the national leader in yards and points per game coming in, had 444 yards at halftime and finished with 793 heading into its Big 12 opener against Texas Tech at the home of the Dallas Cowboys next Saturday.
The Owls (2-2) lost their 25th straight game against a Top 25 opponent, a streak that goes back to 1997.
The Bears, frequently criticized for playing weak non-conference teams, struggled in the first half of victories against SMU, a one-win team last year, and lower-division Lamar.
Rice was within 14-10 midway through the first quarter before Baylor scored 28 straight points for a 42-10 halftime lead on the way to the Bears’ sixth 70-point game since 2013. Coleman had three of the four half-closing scores.
The Bears finished with 427 yards rushing — 55 shy of the 22-year-old school record. Terence Williams had 111 yards and the final Baylor touchdown.
Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson was sacked five times — four in the first half — and held to 115 yards passing and one touchdown a week after he had 373 yards and three scores in a win over North Texas.
Rice had three different 100-yard rushers the first three weeks, but just 32 yards on 12 carries from rushing leader Jowan Davis against Baylor as the Owls averaged 2.1 yards per carry.
Jackson’s fumble near midfield with the Owls trailing 14-10 — forced and recovered by safety Orion Stewart — led to Russell’s first scoring pass to Coleman from 16 yards. Coleman had 100 yards receiving.
After Linwood’s 11-yard touchdown run, Coleman made a leaping catch over safety J.T. Ibe at the goal line for a 35-yard score. He caught a short pass in front of cornerback V.J. Banks and faked inside before beating him to the sideline on a 32-yard touchdown.
Russell, who was 12 of 16 with a passer rating of 344.2, tied the school record for scoring passes on a 22-yarder to Lynx Hawthorne on his final series of the game in the third quarter. He shares the mark with Blake Szymanski (2007 against Rice) and Bryce Petty (2013 against TCU).
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