Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty knows his line in the box score might have looked impressive -- 416 yards and four touchdowns -- last week, but the perfectionist still knows there was room to improve.
He forced a few throws he'd like to have back. He got a little bit antsy in the pocket even when it was clean. He'll probably find something else when he watches the film again.
For others, however, the fact that Petty was able to perform as well as he did (even it was against Buffalo) was a bit surprising considering he sat out the prior week due to back issues. The Bears' signal-caller had to shake off some rust behind center but emerged healthy and happy going into the team's bye week before Big 12 play starts.
"I don't feel anything," Petty told CFB 24/7 on Monday. "Everybody I talked to, they said it was for sure a three-week deal, and I was back in a week and a half. I'm feeling great and everything is good.
"I just wanted to know what a hit would feel like (in a game) or see how I did when I threw on the run, things I didn't really do in practice a lot. Once I took that first hit, I was fine."
Head coach Art Briles said prior to the contest that Petty would have to be close to 100 percent to play, and the quarterback obviously felt he was just that after a good week in practice leading up to the trip. He even noted that he didn't feel any apprehension going back onto the field post-injury, in part because he understands that in football you can get hurt without contact, as everybody saw with Robert Griffin III on Sunday.
Though it was tough for Petty to miss even a few snaps the week prior, he was excited to note how well backup Seth Russell played in his absence. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound sophomore put up some eye-popping numbers against Northwestern State in a 70-6 win and currently sits third in FBS in passing efficiency, above Petty's own numbers.
"I knew all along he was capable of doing that. He's a heck of a quarterback," said Petty. "I'm lucky enough to have him as a backup to where I'm pushed every day. I don't just have to prove myself on Saturday, I have to prove myself to the team every day in practice that I'm the starter."
While Baylor has coasted through its non-conference slate, a difficult journey through the Big 12 awaits. It starts with a trip to Iowa State for a night game in two weeks. The good news for Petty and company is the team will have wide receivers Antwan Goodley (quad), Corey Coleman (hamstring) and Clay Fuller (collar bone) back in action after missing time themselves.
It's not like the trio, which combined to catch 138 passes from Petty last year, was missed, though. Petty connected with true freshman KD Cannon for an 89-yard score against Buffalo, and the talented young wideout leads the country in receiving yards and is second in touchdowns. While he came to Waco as a five-star recruit out of high school, so far he's exceeded every expectation the team has had.
"He's phenomenal. We knew coming in he would be good, but I don't think we knew he'd be this good. That's saying a lot because of how much we thought about him," said Petty. "He's got such a great attitude and is willing to learn. He doesn't have a cocky or arrogant attitude that you sometimes find. That is nice to have, because nowadays in recruiting they get talked up so much that sometimes they get that persona (where) they can't be coached. He's not like that at all.
"He's big time. He doesn't act like an 18-year-old freshman, that's for sure."
Petty also singled out young contributors like Davion Hall and redshirt freshman tailback Johnny Jefferson, among others, who have impressed him. With so many talented skill-position players on the roster, it's no wonder Petty felt just fine after yet another Baylor win last week.