When All Big 12 Conference quarterback Bryce Petty leads No. 6 Baylor into the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, he will be only the latest in a long line of outstanding Bear quarterbacks. Buddy Humphrey made his name in the 1957 Sugar Bowl when he led the Bears to a 13-7 upset of nationally-ranked No. 2 Tennessee by scoring the winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak late in the game. It was the only game the Vols led by legend Johnny Majors would lose.
Humphrey was good enough to play in the National Football League after he finished a successful career at Baylor. He played for several pro teams including the Dallas Cowboys. Of course that Baylor team was loaded with future New York Giant All-Pro Del Shofner playing at wide receiver and future Cleveland Brown All-Pro Bill Glass playing in the line.
Despite being a big underdog in the Sugar Bowl, the Bears were almost overconfident after watching game films of the undefeated Tennessee team. The Vols ran the single wing offense and Baylor defensive ends thought they saw a way to stop the vaunted Tennessee offense, which they did, holding their opponents to only one touchdown in the victory.
Humphrey later went on to a successful career as coach and athletic director at Kilgore High School, Texas.
The "three Ronnies" team of 1960 went 8-2 and lost the Gator Bowl 13-12 to Florida because of a missed two-point conversion at the end of the game. Quarterback Ronnie Stanley hit receiver Ronnie Goodwin with a pass deep into Florida territory late in the game before running back Ronnie Bull rushed for a touchdown to bring the Bears to within a single point.
Wichita Falls dentist Dr. Kenneth Aboussie played on the Coyotes football team that year which played its state championship game in Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. Aboussie said he had the pleasure of meeting the "three Ronnies" as the Baylor team worked out on the same field as Wichita Falls High School one week. Aboussie said his encounter with the "three Ronnies" occurred in December of 1960 while the Coyotes were preparing for their state championship game with Corpus Christi Miller. That Wichita Falls High team went to four consecutive Texas state championship games.
Baylor would rebouond following its Gator Bowl loss to defeat Utah State 24-9 in the Gotham Bowl in December of 1961. The Utah State team was ranked 10th nationally and led by future Los Angeles Ram Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen. There were only two Gotham Bowls, both played in New York City. Fullback Ronnie Bull returned for the Gotham Bowl victory in the Polo Grounds, but Don Trull was the quarterback who led the Bears to victory in that historic game.
Aboussie was an All-State wingback and halfback on that Coyote team and later played for Bud Wilkinson and the University of Oklahoma Sooners.
Another legendary Baylor quarterback was Don Trull who only two weeks ago was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was twice voted first team All-American and won the Sammy Baugh Award for best college quarterback in the nation. He also later played in the pros. In the 1960's he led the Bears to a No. 2 ranking in the nation before they lost a 7-0 heartbreaker to the University of Texass coached by Darrell Royal. When he was voted into the Hall, Trull thanked OU athletic director Joe Castiglione for beating Oklahoma State, which helped Baylor win the Big 12 Conference championship this year.
Of course Robert Griffin III (RG III) became the first Baylor quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy three years ago as he led the Bears to their first-ever victory against perennial powerhouse University of Oklahoma with a last-second touchdown pass to current Cowboy receiver Terrance Williams. Griffin was drafted No. 1 by the Washington Redskins and was voted Offensive Rookie of the Year following the 2012 season.
So while Bryce Petty put up some gaudy passing statistics this year, he is only the latest in a long line of excellent Baylor quarterbacks to lead them into major bowl games. Petty will play in the NFL someday too, but after the Fiesta Bowl, he will have one more season at Baylor.
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