In what many labeled to be a trap game, Bryce Petty and the No. 5 Baylor Bears erupted for a 63-34 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Petty was explosive as a passer, opportunistic as a runner and poised as a leader of the offense.
In turn, he's joined the ranks of the elite Heisman Trophy candidates. Or at least he should.
Bryce Petty has accumulated 5 TDs 2nd game in row. 3 TD passes and 2 running. Devin Chafin, 4th RB, has 2 TDs and averaging 13 a carry.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) November 17, 2013
Underappreciated or not, Petty is a special player.
Petty finished the day at 17-of-31 for 335 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He added nine carries for 10 yards and two scores, thus leading the Bears to their sixth 60-plus-point performance and a perfect record of 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big 12.
It was the solidification of what has been a rapid rise to stardom for both Art Briles' team and Petty as an individual player.
Petty now has 2,992 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, one interception and 10 scores on the ground. That ratio of 34 touchdowns accounted for to one interception is almost as absurd as the fact that he's rushed for a touchdown in eight straight and has topped 300 passing yards in all but one outing.
Through it all, Petty has emerged as one of the best players in the country.
He's not receiving the same level of respect as Heisman candidates such as Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, but that doesn't mean he's not playing at an equally as prolific level. With high-profile games against Oklahoma State and Texas still to come, he'll have the opportunity to further establish his legitimacy.
Regardless of what happens with Petty's Heisman campaign, you should watch him every time out. He's an incredible quarterback and deserves the respect of his peers.
After this performance, it's hard to imagine him receiving anything less than the respect of the Heisman voters.