WACO, Texas (AP) — Robert Griffin retreated nearly 20 yards to grab an errant snap, and turned that into a touchdown. There had already been a record 94-yarder for Baylor on what began as a short pass.
Baylor’s offense was clicking like never before, even when things didn’t go as planned.
Griffin accounted for 444 of Baylor’s 678 total yards — both of those marks school records — as the Bears beat Kansas 55-7 Saturday for their most lopsided conference victory ever.
“It was just one of those days where everything went right,” said Griffin, who threw for a career-best 380 yards. “The one I remember is I dropped the snap over my head. I didn’t know what was going through my mind. I ran back there, and threw a touchdown. ... (Plus) I threw a 5-yard sideways pass to go 94. That was great.”
The Bears (4-1, 1-0 Big 12) had never won a Big 12 game by more than 28 points. Their largest conference margin had been a 47-point Southwest Conference victory over Arkansas in 1922.
“We can build off this,” Griffin said. “We’ve been working hard to be this productive, this dominant.”
It was the first Big 12 game for new coach Turner Gill at Kansas (2-3, 0-1).
“Very embarrassing, very surprising,” safety Olaitan Oguntodu said.
Griffin passed for 288 yards before halftime, only nine shy of his previous mark set in Baylor’s last home game three weeks ago. He finished 26 of 36 and ran eight times for 64 yards with a 1-yard TD before coming out after three quarters.
“He made the big plays when he had to make them,” Gill said. “He kept their offense in rhythm and kept us out of rhythm.”
Griffin threw an 11-yard TD pass midway through the third quarter, though he went a lot farther. Griffin went back to the 30 retrieving the high snap through his hands, then ran toward the left sideline fleeing defenders before throwing against his body to Terrance Williams wide open in the end zone.
“What made that play good, he escaped two rushers,” coach Art Briles said.
Last season, Griffin didn’t even make it into Big 12 play because of a torn ACL in his right knee suffered in the third game. In his comeback this season, he already has passed for 1,351 yards and 11 TDs while running for 221 yards and four scores.
Williams had earlier caught a 50-yard touchdown on a double-pass play from fellow receiver Kendall Wright, who had been 0 for 7 passing with two interceptions in his career before that. Williams was wide open near the 30 and had to come back a couple of steps to catch the ball.
When Kansas got the ball back after Griffin’s escape, Tim Atchison intercepted a pass thrown by Jordan Webb and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown to make it 48-7.
The Jayhawks have never won in Waco, going 0-5 including losing all four since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996. No other league team has lost more than twice there in that span. The Jayhawks’ losses there in 1998 and 2002 were the bookends to Baylor’s 29-game conference losing streak.
Kansas had gone consecutive games without a turnover for the first time since 2007, but had four against Baylor.
Webb, the freshman quarterback in his fourth start, finished 16 of 28 for 171 yards with two interceptions and a fumble. He was sacked three times.
“This is probably the one game he didn’t quite play as well with reads and things of that nature,” Gill said. “There are some other people that didn’t play well either, and we just couldn’t ever get any rhythm going.”
Griffin hit Gordon in stride in the end zone for a 39-yard TD on the opening drive. Late in the first half Griffin dumped a pass in the right flat to Gordon, who avoided a desperate diving tackle attempt by a linebacker then sprinted untouched along the sideline in front of the Kansas bench for the 94-yarder.
Griffin’s 1-yard keeper early in the second quarter put Baylor up 17-0, though he had to do it twice after officials nullified the first one because they were reviewing a 34-yard catch by Williams on the previous play.
Aaron Jones kicked a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for a 27-7 lead, after he had given the Bears a 10-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game. His 10 field goals are already one more than two Baylor kickers combined for last season.
Baylor’s opening drive was five completions by Griffin. Webb was then sacked and fumbled, setting up Jones’ first field goal.