Baylor vs Northwestern State Preview

How much playing time will Heisman hopeful Bryce Petty see? Photo Courtesy: Matthew Lynch
How much playing time will Heisman hopeful Bryce Petty see? Photo Courtesy: Matthew Lynch

By Kendrick Johnson

Game Info
Northwestern State Demons vs Baylor Bears
Saturday – September 6 – 6:30pm
McLane Stadium – Waco

After christening McLane Stadium with an easy 45-0 win over former Southwest Conference nemesis SMU, the Baylor Bears head into Week 2 looking to make the Demons of Natchitoches, Louisiana their second victim in 2014.

The big question going into this game is on the Baylor side: the health of QB Bryce Petty. All week, Baylor has steadfastly maintained that the only way Bryce would play is if he’s 100% healthy. To get that clean bill, it means no pain, full range of motion, and no swelling or inflammation. “I didn’t come back to sit again on the sidelines and watch. Every game is important and Northwestern State is important to me,” Petty said Tuesday. “So I want to be out there. … I’ll be all right. We’ll be good.”

Despite Petty’s willingness to play, all signs point to the Heisman candidate taking it easy and sitting this one out.
Regardless if Petty plays or not look for Baylor to lean on the defensive side of the ball a little bit more than usual. Baylor had a school record-tying nine sacks in the opener and held the Mustangs to 67 yards. The last time the Bears allowed fewer yards was in 1988 when UNLV had 50.

“Every time the defense is out there, we’re expecting to turn the ball over. Let’s get the ball back to our offense. Let’s get a three-and-out,” linebacker Bryce Hager said. “The defense did a really good job doing that. We’re expecting to win every game. We’re expecting to get the ball back to our offense.”

Northwestern State comes into the game after rolling up 493 yards in its opener last Thursday against Missouri State. The Demons, are playing the first of four consecutive road games, had a 24-7 halftime lead in their 34-27 opening loss at home against Missouri State.

Northwestern State senior quarterback Zach Adkins, the Southland Conference newcomer of the year last season, completed 31 of 42 passes for 318 yards and two TDs, and rushed nine times for 24 yards in the opener.

After Northwestern State, the Bears won’t be back at McLane Stadium again for more than a month. They have three consecutive road games, with an off week mixed in, before their next home game Oct. 11 vs. TCU.

Baylor’s average margin of victory against Northwestern has been 47 points as the Bears have outscored the Demons 166-29 in winning all three meetings