Houston — Rice had some fun at Baylor’s expense at halftime. The Bears then toyed with the Owls in the second half.
Seth Russell threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns and No. 21 Baylor shrugged off a slow start to beat Rice 38-10 on Friday night after the Rice band mocked the Bears at halftime.
The band formed a Roman numeral IX on the field to represent Title IX, the federal law Baylor is accused of violating in a sexual assault scandal, and a shifted to a star formation in reference to Ken Starr, the former Baylor president who was demoted and eventually resigned amid the scandal.
Russell was 22 of 38 to help the Bears win their 19th straight regular-season nonconference game and improve to 3-0 for the sixth straight season, a program first.
“We’ve preached start fast, and we haven’t done that the past three games,” Russell said. “It’s pretty disappointing. It’s just something that we can grow on. It’s an aspect of the game we need to get better at.”
KD Cannon caught nine passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. Cannon cited the Bears’ youth as a reason for the slow starts.
“Just being young and not knowing what to do,” Cannon said. “It’s something we have to get better at.”
Rice (0-3) led 3-0 after the first quarter before JaMychal Hasty scored on a 16-yard run, and Cannon caught a 10-yard pass from Russell to put the Bears up 14-3 midway through the second quarter.
“We aren’t very consistent right now,” Baylor interim coach Jim Grobe said. “That’s our problem. It’s obvious we have some talent, and I think we can be a good football team, but right now we are just so inconsistent.”
The Owls closed to 14-10 with 3 minutes left before halftime, but that would be as close as they would get.
Darik Dillard ran for 124 yards on 14 carries for the Owls. Emmanuel Esukpa had Rice’s lone touchdown.
The Owls fell to 0-3 for the second time in three seasons.
“Standing up here, we’re 0-3, but all our goals are still intact,” Rice coach David Bailiff said. “If we have that same type of effort, we’ll keep growing those young ones up, and we ought to be in great shape.”