ARLINGTON — With three of Baylor’s star players watching from the sidelines, waving towels in AT&T Stadium, a Texas Tech upset seemed plausible.
The Bears were without senior wide receiver Tevin Reese (wrist) and senior running back Glasco Martin (knee) along with junior running back Lache Seastrunk (groin) in Saturday’s game due to injuries sustained against Oklahoma the week prior.
It appeared to have little effect as the Bears’ offense continued to hum in a 63-34 victory over the Red Raiders.
So far this season Reese, Martin and Seastrunk have racked up 824, 319 and 888 yards respectively for the Bears.
“To us they’re not guys,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “I mean, they’re dynamic teammates that have really done a great job for us.”
For the Red Raiders, their defense was almost back to full strength as senior defensive lineman Dartwan Bush and senior linebackers Tre’ Porter and Terrance Bullitt were suited up to play.
Early in the first quarter, Baylor was in a hole as Tech got out to a 14-0 lead over the Bears that extended to 20-7 with 3:25 left in the first half.
However, senior Levi Norwood, second-string receiver to Reese, stepped up for the Bears.
“I mean, I didn’t feel like it was going to be me (that stepped up),” Norwood said. “I felt I was ready if it needed to be, just like every week with Tevin there, Tevin not there, somebody needs to step up. All of us are ready.”
When Norwood was 8 years old, he lived in Lubbock as his father, Brian, coached at Texas Tech in 2000 as Mike Leach’s first defensive backs coach. During his one-year stint with the Red Raiders, Norwood coached current Tech cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis.
Levi Norwood scored the first touchdown for the Bears off a 40-yard pass with 6:05 remaining in the first quarter and then returned a punt 58 yards with 1:39 left.
“On the punt return, there wasn’t much there to start,” Norwood said. “I think there were one or two guys in my face. (I) was able to make them miss. Everyone else was blocked. Pat Levels had an awesome block. (I) ran for about 15 yards, that got me in the end zone.”
Later in the second quarter, junior quarterback Bryce Petty connected with Norwood for a 58-yard touchdown.
Norwood finished the game with seven catches for 156 yards and was responsible for three Baylor touchdowns.
Overall, he recorded 244 all-purpose yards with 63 yards on four punt returns and 25 on a kick return.
Junior wide receiver Antwan Goodley chipped in 101 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
“For the receivers, really we wanted to all step up and be able to do something special for Tevin (Reese),” Norwood said. “He’s been here for four years. Being a player of his size, he’s had to work really hard to get where he’s at. He’s done that and even more than that. It was really all of us just wanting to do something special for him, have a big game for him.”
Third and fourth string running backs freshmen Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin also stepped up Saturday night in the absence of Seastrunk and Martin.
Linwood finished with 29 carries for 187 yards, and Chafin had 11 carries 100.
“Yeah, I knew that the third one, Linwood, was as good as the other two from watching the previous games,” Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “So he’s a special player and he did a great job. Like I said, the offensive line is really good, and that, to me, is what jumps out. From some of their previous teams, they’ve always had great skills, but those guys are moving bodies up front.”
As a whole, Baylor ended the game with 675 yards of total offense — 335 passing yards and 340 rushing yards.
“I thought we had people in places to make plays and it’s been that way the last few weeks,” Kingsbury said of his defense. “You’ve got to make them. Because with that type of skill they have, if you don’t, they can go to the house any time and they saw that. So you got to get better with the fundamentals and they young guys that are playing, they’ve got to grow up.”
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