The Baylor Bears hold a 24-3 halftime lead over the Southern Methodist Mustangs in Sunday's season opener for the two schools, as SMU quarterback and former Texas Longhorn Garrett Gilbert struggled in the first half of his first game with his new team.
Gilbert, who transferred to SMU prior to the 2011 season, threw for 135 yards while completing just 15 of 31 attempts, and was intercepted while trying to hit wide receiver Darius Johnson in the end zone on a slant pattern near the end of the half. The turnover led to a Baylor touchdown two plays later, as Bears quarterback Nick Florence connected with wide receiver Tevin Reese for a 50-yard score to extend Baylor's lead to 21-3. It was Florence's third touchdown pass of the half.
Florence first connected with wide receiver Lanear Sampson for a 5-yard score to cap off a game-opening 10-play, 75-yard drive for the Bears. Then, in Baylor's next possession, Florence tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Najvar, giving the Bears a quick 14-0 lead.
SMU got on the board with a 22-yard field goal from Chase Hover in the second quarter following a 16-play, 66-yard drive which elapsed six minutes and 16 seconds.The Mustangs put together a 73-yard drive two possessions later, but it ended with Gilbert's interception.
Baylor added a field goal as the half closed after the Bears gained 50 yards in just 57 seconds following an SMU punt.
Florence completed 15 of 21 passes for 208 yards. Baylor running back Jarred Salubi led all rushers in the first half with 70 yards on 10 carries, Bears WR Terrence Williams caught five balls for 69 yards to pace all receivers.
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