Baylor can improve to 3-0 with road win against Kansas

9/13/2021 11:03:15 PM EST

The benefits of a blowout win against an overmatched FCS opponent can be tough to measure, but Baylor coach Dave Aranda offered a positive assessment nonetheless.

"We're growing. We're learning to play together," said Aranda, whose Bears will attempt to stay unbeaten Saturday when they travel to Lawrence to face Kansas. "The buy-in and commitment, I feel, is strong and ascending, and it's exciting to be a part of."

Baylor recorded its most points and yardage since 2015 (Art Briles' last season as Baylor coach) when it totaled 714 yards last week and trounced Texas Southern 66-7.

Also for the first time since 2015, three rushers enjoyed 100-yard performances in the same game - Trestan Ebner, Abram Smith and Taye McWilliams. Ebner is the first player in Baylor history to crack the 1,000-yard mark as both a rusher and receiver.

In his second start at quarterback, Gerry Bohanon passed for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores after engineering a 29-20 win at Texas State in the opener.

"Everybody was literally one play at a time and making plays," Bohanon said.

Defensively, JT Woods has scored touchdowns off takeaways in each of the first two games.

A year ago, Baylor finished ahead of only Kansas with a 2-7 league mark in Aranda's first season. The Bears carry an 11-game win streak against the Jayhawks, winning those games 48-12 on average.

The Jayhawks have not won a Big 12 opener since 2009 and have lost 12 straight conference games.

Yet in North Texas transfer Jason Bean, Kansas has the makings of a playmaking quarterback executing a system still being constructed by first-year coach Lance Leipold.

"His athleticism is starting to show and he's starting to feel confident. He's making real solid decisions, he works to get better and he takes to coaching," Leipold said of Bean, who became the first Kansas quarterback since 2002 to rush for 100 yards when he ran for 102 yards in a 49-22 loss last week at then-No. 17 Coastal Carolina.

Developing better timing and consistency is a must for the Jayhawks offensively, especially among linemen after Leipold arrived too late to conduct spring practice following the ouster of Les Miles.

"You're never where you completely want to be," said Leipold, "but we've had to be patient in our installation."

--Field Level Media


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