Thanks to the Baylor defense riding a pace into midseason that would’ve set records for futility, the weight of the team’s fortunes rested on quarterback Nick Florence‘s shoulders last fall and he delivered. Actually, the team as a whole would improve down the stretch as the Bears took their final four games, including a win over then-No. 1 Kansas State and a 49-26 destruction of UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.
Florence’s 4,309 yards passing and additional 568 on the ground will be tremendously difficult for Baylor to replace, but not nearly as tough here as it is at other schools. Coach Art Briles kept the offensive plenty prolific in the wake of Robert Griffin III‘s departure and has churned out unstoppable passing attacks since his days as head coach at Houston. The question posed is less to whether there will be potent production than to who will take snaps under center Week 1 of the regular season.
As Baylor approaches its crucial Saturday scrimmage, it’s junior Bryce Petty‘s position to lose in the spring practice quarterback battle. When we last saw Petty he gave more reason that the starting quarterback spot will be his, barring disaster, by launching a 63-yard touchdown strike to Antwan Goodley.
“Bryce has always had it,” said Bears receiver Clay Fuller. “All he needed was an opportunity, and that’s what he’s getting.”
Griffin and Florence both reportedly believe in Petty, and it’s hard to imagine Briles doesn’t either. Redshirt freshman Seth Russell, sophomore Gus Frerking and true freshman Chris Johnson are realistically just combating for backup quarterback roles at this point in 2013.