Over the last three seasons, the Baylor Bears have built themselves up into a national football contender but have had to break in a new quarterback each season. First it was Robert Griffin III before Nick Florence last season and finally Bryce Petty in 2013. However, Art Briles will finally get some continuity under center next season with Petty announcing his return to Waco for his senior year making the Baylor offensive attack even scarier for 2014.
The junior quarterback seemingly came out of nowhere this season to lead the nation’s most potent offensive attack. In his first year as a starter, Petty has thrown for 3,557 yards and 28 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He’s also added 168 yards rushing and 11 more touchdowns on the ground to drive the country’s most high-powered offensive attack. Petty ranks second only to Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles in passing efficiency this year and third in Total QBR behind Winston and Marcus Mariota of the Oregon Ducks.
With Petty under center, Baylor has reached a whole new level offensively as they have race to a 10-1 record and the No. 9 ranking in the latest BCS standings heading into the final week of the season. The Bears lead the nation with 635.1 yards and 55.4 points per game. They are second only to Oregon with 96 plays of 20-plus yards this season and have more plays of 30-plus (53) and 40-plus (36) than anyone else in the country. With a win this weekend against the Texas Longhorns and a loss by the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Baylor would win the Big 12 title for the first time in program history.
And there’s no reason to think they’ll slow down next season now that Petty has confirmed he will return. Being able to build off the season that he’s had this season will make Bryce Petty one of the premier quarterbacks in the nation next season and push him to the forefront of the Heisman Trophy conversation and possibly even to the top of the 2015 NFL Draft.