Welcome to the another edition of LET US DELIGHT IN, a weekly feature in which we, well, delight in the performance of a particular football player from the previous weekend. This week, we are delighting in the performance of Baylor quarterback Seth Russell.
This week was rife with deserving contenders. Micromachine Christian McCaffrey, who was the point of the Stanford scalpel that tore UCLA to ribbons. Trevone Boykin and/or Josh Doctson, whose week in, week out brilliance has become so commonplace that we just don't bat an eye at their ludicrous numbers. Paxton Lynch, who just led Memphis to one of the biggest wins in program history. Hell, we could've even gone with Russell's teammate Corey Coleman, who has more receiving touchdowns himself than 111 teams do as a whole. But really, Russell was clearly the best choice this week.
Baylor demolished West Virginia 62-38, and Russell led the way by setting the Mountaineer defense ablaze and watching them run around until the flames spent themselves. His stat line was insane: 20-33 for 380 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions, and 160 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He led the team in rushing, averaging 11.4 yards per carry.
The rushing numbers are what really jump out at you, since you don't expect a Baylor quarterback to put tire tracks on a defense's back. And you'd be right, that's not what they normally do. Robert Griffin III only had one game in his career at Baylor where he had more than 160 rushing yards -- 2008 vs. Washington State, sorry Cougs :( -- so this is pretty rarified air that Russell ran himself into.
Before this week, the West Virginia defense had received plenty of credit for their stinginess. Sure, they were without safety/savage instrument of violence Karl Joseph, but Baylor absolutely wore their asses out and made it look pretty easy. As of this writing, the Mountaineers were still 14th in Def. S&P+, but that rank doesn't include the data from the Baylor game yet, so that number is most certainly about to plummet.
Russell's performance was only the second time this season a quarterback has thrown for over 350 yards and rushed for over 150 yards (Amazingly, the other was Texas' Jerrod Heard vs. Cal), so that's the type of performance we're talking about here. It's kind of a weird thing to say aloud, but Russell may be the most perfect pilot yet for Art Briles' death machine offense.