Russell fires 6 TD passes in Baylor blowout

Published 12:22 am Sunday, September 27, 2015

WACO (AP) — Seth Russell and the No. 5 Baylor Bears have their edge back, just in time for the two-time Big 12 champions to start conference play.

Russell matched a school record with six touchdown passes, three of his five in the first half to Corey Coleman, and the Bears wrapped up their non-conference schedule with a 70-17 romp over Rice on Saturday.

The Bears (3-0) extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 18 games, including the first eight at their campus stadium in the Brazos River. They were coming off a bye following sluggish starts in victories against SMU, a one-win team last year, and lower-division Lamar.

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Coach Art Briles blamed himself last week for the Bears lacking the intensity that helped carry them to a pair of league titles. Now he gets a little help from the schedule with the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech coming next Saturday at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

“Instead of kind of being the hunted so much, it kind of equals out when you get into conference play because we’re all playing for those glass trophies that I’ve got sitting in my office,” Briles said. “We’re all playing for the same thing. We’ve got a little bit of hunt in us coming this week.”

The Owls (2-2) lost their 25th straight game against a Top 25 opponent, a streak that goes back to 1997.

Russell threw for 277 yards and Shock Linwood ran for 158 with a touchdown as the Bears rolled up more than 700 yards for the third straight game — a season-high 793 this time.

Rice was within 14-10 midway through the first quarter before Baylor scored 28 straight points for a 42-10 halftime lead. Coleman had three of the four half-closing scores.

The Bears sacked Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson five times — four in the first half.