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(Sunday, September 2nd)
Final Score: Baylor 59, SMU 24
Waco, TX (Sports Network) - With Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III taking snaps for the Washington Redskins in the NFL, Baylor has looked to senior Nick Florence to carry the torch.
Florence was up to the task, throwing for 341 yards and four touchdowns as the Bears routed Southern Methodist, 59-24, in the season opener for both teams Sunday.
Terrance Williams hauled in seven passes for 138 yards and Lanear Sampson caught five passes for 69 yards and a pair of scores for the Bears (1-0), who captured their first 10-win record since 1980 under the guidance of Griffin last season.
Texas transfer Garrett Gilbert went 34-of-59 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions, as the Mustangs dropped their 10th straight matchup against in-state rival Baylor.
Zach Line carried the ball 25 times for 135 yards as the feature back for SMU (0-1), which finished 8-5 a season ago.
The post-RG III era got off to a great start, as Florence led the Bears on a 10-play, 75-yard drive on their first series of the season, connecting with a Sampson for a 6-yard touchdown strike to give Baylor an early 7-0 lead.
Chase Hover missed a 43-yard field goal on SMU's ensuing possession before Florence capped a seven-play, 74-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Najvar to extend the margin to 14-0.
The Mustangs drove deep into Baylor territory but stalled late, settling for a 22-yard field goal from Hover to pull within 14-3 early in the second quarter.
Eddie Lackey picked off Gilbert deep in Baylor territory and three plays later, Florence found Tevin Reese wide open down the middle of the field for a 50-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-3.
Aaron Jones buried a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to send the Bears into the locker room with a 24-3 advantage.
The Baylor defense forced a turnover on the opening drive of the second half, as Mike Hicks scooped up Darius Johnson's fumble and took it in 66 yards the other way to give Baylor a 31-3 lead.
Sam Holl picked off Gilbert on the ensuing drive, resulting in a 9-yard touchdown scamper from Jarred Salubi to cap a nine-play, 60-yard drive.
The teams then exchanged deep balls, as Florence hit Sampson for a 36-yard strike before Gilbert responded with a 42-yard scoring pass to Der'rikk Thompson to bring the margin to 45-10 heading into the fourth.
Baylor tacked on another score on Glasco Martin's 1-yard touchdown plunge early in the fourth before Jeremy Johnson added a 4-yard touchdown grab for the Mustangs.
Baylor backup Bryce Petty hit Darryl Stonum for a 37-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth and SMU answered with a 40-yard touchdown strike from Conner Preston to Gehrig Dieter to account for the final margin.
09/02 22:35:37 ET
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