Baylor Bears drub SMU with Florence producing Griffin numbers

Posted Sunday, Sep. 02, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: SMU Mustangs

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Nick Florence threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns, Mike Hicks returned a fumble for a score and Baylor beat SMU 59-24 on Sunday night in Waco in the opener for both teams.

Florence, taking over for departed Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, led the Bears to touchdowns on their first two drives. He finished 21 of 30 and didn't play in the fourth quarter.

Hicks returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter.

SMU has lost 10 consecutive games to Baylor dating to 1986 when the schools were members of the now-defunct Southwest Conference.

The Mustangs' Garrett Gilbert was 34 of 59 for 286 yards and two touchdowns in his first game since transferring from Texas. Zach Line rushed for 135 yards.

The Bears intercepted two of Gilbert's passes and held the Mustangs without a touchdown until late in the third quarter.

Florence threw first-half touchdown passes to Lanear Sampson, Jordan Najvar and Tevin Reese and hooked up with Sampson on a 36-yard scoring pass that put the Bears on top 45-3 in the third quarter before Bryce Petty took over at quarterback.

Terrance Williams had 138 yards receiving, and Jarred Salubi and Glasco Martin each rushed for a TD.

In last season's opener, Baylor blew a 24-point lead before beating TCU 50-48 on a late field goal. The Bears didn't need any late drama this time.

SMU's Darius Johnson couldn't handle Gilbert's pass at the goal line and the ball bounced high in the air. Hicks twice tipped the ball before Lackey intercepted it and returned it 23 yards.

Three plays later, Florence hit a streaking Reese for a 50-yard TD pass that extended Baylor's lead to 21-3 with 2:02 left in the first half.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Johnson caught a short pass and lost the ball just before hitting the ground. Hicks picked up the loose ball and ran 66 yards for a touchdown.

Baylor's offense figured to take a step back without Griffin and four other offensive players from last year's squad taken in the NFL draft.

At least in the opener, the Bears' fast-paced offense didn't miss a beat in the first quarter.

Florence was 4 for 4 on Baylor's opening possession, which was aided by four SMU penalties. He capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Sampson.

The senior dropped in a 32-yard pass to Levi Norwood to set up a 5-yard scoring toss to Najvar.

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