Baylor likely could have won with anybody on the team behind center on Friday night against Buffalo.
However, they had a healthy Bryce Petty and won going away 63-21 in their third straight non-conference game of the year against a lackluster and overmatched opponent.
The return of Petty was easily the story of the night, as the Heisman Trophy candidate looked extremely sharp in just three quarters of work. He was hit on the first series in the team's opener against SMU and an MRI later revealed bones were cracked in the transverse processes of his back. The signal-caller sat out last week's home game but recovered quickly enough to make the start on Friday.
Petty moved well in and outside of the pocket, showing no ill effects from the injured bones in his back. His arm strength looked like it was back to normal and he had 329 yards and two scores before halftime. Head coach Art Briles seemed to limit his quarterback in the run game but allowed him to get some work in with a few read-option plays.
One of Petty's favorite targets was once again true freshman wide receiver KD Cannon. Playing in just his third college football game, Cannon caught six passes for 189 yards and a score. The offensive duo connected for an 89-yard touchdown early in the first quarter and gave the Bulls' defense trouble down the field all night.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Petty is considered one of the top senior quarterbacks in the country. He closed out the Week 3 win 23-for-34 passing with 416 yards and four touchdowns.
As impressive as Petty's return was, it actually might not have been the best performance by a quarterback on Friday. Against a different MAC opponent, Toledo, Cincinnati's Gunner Kiel threw for 418 yards and six touchdowns in his first-ever collegiate action. The Notre Dame transfer sat out last season and was considered by some to be the No. 1 quarterback coming out of high school two seasons ago.
All in all, not a bad night for quarterbacks with high expectations placed on them in 2014.