Sunday Rewind: Baylor 35, Kansas State 25


The regular season has reached the halfway point for Kansas State, and the Wildcats sit at 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12 play. That is a thoroughly disappointing start for a team that was upset about being picked sixth in the preseason conference poll and has possessed a fourth-quarter lead in five of its games.

Losing close is clearly frustrating to this group. Each loss has come in slightly different ways. The defense couldn’t get off the field against North Dakota State. A horrible start doomed K-State at Texas. Fourth-quarter turnovers hurt K-State at Oklahoma State. And a missed field goal and another interception cost K-State the game against Baylor.

After Saturday’s 35-25 loss, I asked several players if they had spotted a common thread in those losses.

“We had the game in our hands and just coughed it up,” quarterback Jake Waters said. “I had fumbles at Texas. Daniel (Sams) had some picks (against Oklahoma State) and made some mistakes too. We just have to figure out how to win at the end. We will. We have some great players on this team.”

“I’ve got to finish,” Sams said. “Coach (Bill) Snyder says we all make mistakes, but the type of player I am I put this on me. I’ve got to finish.”

“Anytime you get a lead you just can’t get comfortable,” added receiver Curry Sexton. “You have to put your foot down. If you’ve got a lead in the fourth quarter you have got to find a way to kill the clock, take the ball and go down and score and put the ballgame away. that’s something we haven’t done this year. It’s something we have to learn how to do. I don’t know what it takes, but we will find a way. Hopefully you won’t see us losing anymore tight games in the fourth quarter, because that’s not what we do.”

And with that, here is a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Kansas State will value possession time against Baylor, but is possession time an important statistic in today’s game?

Earlier this week, Kansas State center B.J. Finney was asked about Baylor’s jaw-dropping offense. As an offensive lineman, he has spent most of his time leading up to Saturday’s game against the Bears studying their defense, but he had an answer prepared anyway.

“Time of possession,”Finney said. “The way you halt that is keeping that offense off the field. That is a big gameplan, as it always is, for us, to control the clock and control the tempo. We can’t let that slip away from us.”

Finney’s response wasn’t surprising. K-State coach Bill Snyder loves to win the time-of-possession statistic. When the Wildcats run the ball effectively and control the clock, he likes their chances.

But it’s worth pointing out that Baylor ranks 110th nationally in possession time, holding the ball for an average of 27 minutes, 12 seconds a game. It loses the possession battle weekly, yet wins games so easily that starters come out in the third quarter. The Bears are averaging 70.5 points and 779.5 yards.
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The Week Ahead: Can anyone stop Baylor?

You’ve got to hand it to Wofford. The FCS team from Spartanburg, S.C. is the only team that has held Baylor’s offensive juggernaut under 70 points this season.

The Bears managed just 69 points in a blowout win over Wofford. They have since gone for 70, 70 and 73. They are averaging almost 71 points a game. They are averaging nearly 50 points in the first half. Bryce Petty, Lache Seastrunk and Tevin Reese have their offense rolling.

Can anyone stop them? Kansas State will try on Saturday.

Here is a look at that and everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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Fiesta Bowl Countdown: Oregon’s offense reminds K-State of Baylor

Kansas State safety Jarard Milo was asked to compare Oregon to a team he faced this season in the Big 12.

It didn’t take him long to answer.

“When we look at their film we kind of see Baylor,” Milo said. “We also see of the other teams we faced. They have a very fast-paced offense. They have good players, too, but when we look at them we see some of the other teams we have gone against.”

Preparing for a juggernaut offense is nothing new for the Wildcats. That’s part of life in the Big 12. Earlier this season, West Virginia looked so unstoppable behind Geno Smith that Bill Snyder joked his gameplan centered on him being kidnapped. Texas Tech throws the ball as well as anyone. Oklahoma State churned out yards despite three quarterbacks this year. And Baylor became an offensive force behind Nick Florence and Lache Seastrunk.

K-State fared well against most of that competition. It made West Virginia look bad, dominated Texas Tech and only needed Collin Klein for 35 minutes against Oklahoma State. But Baylor got the best of the Wildcats.

The Bears wasted no time between plays, rushing to the line and snapping the ball every few seconds (just like Oregon), and took advantage of Ty Zimmerman’s injury. Baylor threw deep, ran effectively and handed the Wildcats their only loss.

That could mean bad news for K-State in the Fiesta Bowl, but Milo thinks the defense learned a lot from that game.

“They have a good offense, but we aren’t going to get nervous about it,” Milo said. “A lot of the things they do are similar to some of the other teams we’ve already seen. With their spread offense, we are used to that.”
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Player to watch: Terrance Ganaway

If last year’s game between Baylor and Kansas State taught us anything it’s that the Bears have more offensive weapons than Robert Griffin III.

While the Wildcats’ defensive backs played off the line of scrimmage and tried to prevent Griffin, Baylor’s do-everything quarterback, from throwing deep, running back Jay Finley did all kinds of damage at the line of scrimmage. He turned 26 carries into a career-high 250 yards and two touchdowns.

Granted, K-State’s defense is much better today than it was back then, but the point remains: Baylor’s offense is more complex than just its best player. Even if he is a Heisman Trophy contender and has completed more touchdown passes (13) than incompletions (12).

One player who could hurt K-State this year is running back Terrance Ganaway, a senior from DeKalb, Texas. In three games this season, he has rushed for 289 yards and three touchdowns on 51 carries. He has rushed for at least 80 yards and a touchdown in every game.
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Postgame: Baylor 47, K-State 42

Kansas State’s offense was good. Its defense was bad. That’s all you really need to know about the Wildcats’ 47-42 loss at Baylor yesterday.

But here is a deeper look at everything that transpired in Waco, anyway.

THE GOOD
1. Aubrey Quarles is turning into a real weapon at wide receiver. The senior caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown Saturday, and was consistently wide open. His route running improves every game, and he has the best hands on the team.

2. William Powell is no Brandon Banks, but he is awful close. The backup running back terrorized Baylor with huge kick return after huge kick return, and regularly gave K-State stellar field position. He took four returns up field for 172 yards, and broke free for a 100-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
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Gameday Preview: K-State at Baylor

Television executives may come to regret not choosing to broadcast this game.

Bowl eligibility is on the line today in Waco, and both teams are coming off big road wins. Baylor defeated Colorado last week, and Kansas State destroyed rival Kansas.

Robert Griffin is one of the most exciting dual-threat quarterbacks around, and Daniel Thomas is as steady as they come. Those fortunate enough to watch them live should have fun doing so.
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Player to watch: Robert Griffin

Robert Griffin This space is normally used to highlight an opposing player that isn’t already in the limelight. So far this season, we’ve advised you to watch a kicker, a cornerback and two linebackers. But this week we go with an obvious choice: the quarterback.

Why? Because Robert Griffin means everything to Baylor. When he was injured at the beginning of last season, the Bears went from a trendy pick to reach a bowl game right back to the Baylor of old.

Now that he’s back and healthy, the Bears sport one of the most explosive offenses around — they average 33 points and 446 yards per game — and are on the verge of becoming eligible for the postseason for the first time since Starter jackets were cool.

He is more important to the Bears than Daniel Thomas is to the Wildcats. He is the most popular athlete in Waco. Heck, even the mascot likes him.

Stopping him will be Kansas State’s top challenge. Bill Snyder understands it will be difficult.

“He can run. He can throw. He can lead and motivate his team,” Snyder said. “He is a complete player. Read More »

Postgame: K-State 48, Missouri State 24

MSU1

After preaching the importance of offensive balance all week, the Kansas State Wildcats proved they could do more than run the ball Saturday.

Carson Coffman passed for a career high 280 yards and three touchdowns. Brodrick Smith grabbed six catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Aubrey Quarles made seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Good numbers all around. Sure, they came against a suspect Missouri State defense, but they were nice to see all the same.

“I feel like I became more comfortable in the success I had out there,” Coffman said. “Just showing myself I could go out there and do it in a real game. I think that was huge for me.” Read More »

Live Blog: K-State 48, Missouri State 24

William Powell is going to end this game with another impressive stat line. K-State’s backup running back just ran in a 39-yard touchdown to put K-State ahead 48-24 with 2:35 remaining.

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Missouri State has pulled to within 41-24.

Only about three minutes remain in the fourth quarter, and K-State will simply try to run out the clock and move on to the Big 12 opener next week against Iowa State.

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The fourth quarter has been, for the most part, uneventful. But Missouri State has entered the red zone with fewer than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Can the Wildcats hold?
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