Florence first connected with wide receiver Lanear Sampson for a six-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 16-play, 66-yard drive which took six minutes and 16 seconds. Mustangs quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who is making his first start since transferring from the University of Texas prior to the 2011 season, threw for 135 yards on 15-of-31 passing, 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. Two plays later, Florence threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tevin Reese to extend Baylor's lead.
Baylor tacked on a field goal as the half ended after driving 50 yards in 57 seconds following an SMU punt.
Florence completed 15 of 22 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.