Griffin greater than Davis in Texas showdown
The spread offense was run to perfection on Saturday night.
Just ask the Bulls' defense.
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was simply too much to handle, and sophomore quarterback Jerry Davis struggled at Floyd Casey Stadium as Buffalo (1-1) fell 34-6 to the Bears (2-0).
"I didn't look good at the beginning [of the game]," Davis said. "I didn't make the throws that I would normally make. The quarterback is the leader and when you're not completing plays there is no momentum or rhythm. I think that's what happened at the beginning of the game."
Davis finished the game with 163 passing yards and failed to complete more than half of his throws, going 18-for-46 in the game. He also added an interception and was unable to find the end zone in the loss.
Bulls' head coach Jeff Quinn will head back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong for Davis at Floyd Casey Stadium.
"[Going] 18-for-46, that's just not going to cut it," Quinn said. "He's a better football player than that and maybe there was something mentally [wrong] but we didn't protect him at times. He got hit and he got pressured and those things affect how a kid responds."
Things started poorly for the Bulls, and they didn't get much better. Buffalo went three-and-out on their first three possessions and struggled with against ferocious pass rush and 40,853 intense Baylor fans throughout the night.
Still in the game and only down a field goal, the Bulls showed signs of life on their fourth possession. Just when Buffalo was about to move the chains for first time in the game, senior running back Brandon Thermilus fumbled the ball.
Following the turnover, Griffin III orchestrated the Bears' first touchdown drive. He finished off the drive with a five-yard scramble for the score, giving Baylor a 10-0 advantage that proved to be enough for the win.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Buffalo scored their first points on a 25-yard field goal by senior kicker A.J. Principe. But on the following drive, Griffin needed only three plays to score Baylor's second touchdown on the day via a 61-yard connection with junior wide receiver Kendall Wright.
Back-to-back Buffalo miscues led to more points for the Bears when third-string tight end Willie Jefferson scored a 43-yard touchdown. Both scoring plays were a result of blown coverage in the Buffalo secondary.
"We had a couple of guys that weren't where they were supposed to be," Quinn said. "There are four to eight plays in every single football game that are going to change the outcome and guess what, you never know when they are. Unfortunately they caught us off guard a little bit."
Griffin III definitely didn't surprise the Bulls, who prepared for the quarterback all week. He just missed throwing for 300 yards, finishing with 297 yards in only three quarters of play. Not only did he throw two touchdowns, but he added two more on the ground.
Senior safety Davonte Shannon was anxious to get back to work following the loss.
"It's important that we learn from this game," Shannon said. "We have to get in the film room and see what we have to get better at. We have to fix the mistakes we made but I think we'll be okay."
Redshirt freshman running back Branden Oliver turned in a solid effort for the Bulls. He finished with 71 yards on 17 carries and demonstrated his ability to burst through the line of scrimmage.
As a team, the Bulls' running game improved from last week. After managing a 3.2 yards per carry average against Rhode Island, Quinn was happy with the 4.6 average on Saturday night.
Overall, Quinn hopes his team can take a lesson from their trip to Texas and apply it to the rest of their season.
"I feel very strongly about our young men and being able to learn from this experience," Quinn said. "We need to come back and get ready for Central Florida."
Quinn began preparation for the UCF Knights (1-1) immediately after the plane ride back from Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at UB Stadium on Sept. 19th.