Tag Archives: Baylor football

How the Wildcats Beat the Bears

3 Oct

The consensus among the Baylor Bears after losing 36-35 to Kansas State on Saturday night was that the Wildcats did not beat them as much as they beat themselves. That’s a common refrain among teams. It’s not necessarily an inaccurate one, depending on the situation, but this time I disagree with the assessment.

Give credit where credit is due: Kansas State – and its defense in particular – bent but did not break and consequently defeated Baylor.

Going into the matchup, junior quarterback and early Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III had 13 touchdowns and 12 incompletions. His offensive line had allowed only three sacks over the course of three games. He throws 30- and 40-yard passes as effortlessly and accurately as if they were little dinks to the sideline. Throughout his career, his touchdown-to-interception ratio is nearly 5:1 – 59 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and he holds 42 records at Baylor. This season in particular, his numbers just boggle the mind.

Yet the Wildcats sacked Griffin five times and hurried him into eight incompletions and an interception. He still passed for 346 yards and five touchdowns, so if this were any other quarterback, the conversation would be what a fantastic game he had. It was a great performance, but it wasn’t enough.

In my opinion, that’s much more of a reflection on Kansas State than it is on Griffin.

The Wildcats got past the Bears’ hulking veteran offensive line and snuffed Griffin out time and time again. They pressured on him, and while he still completed the vast majority of his passes, he looked a bit rattled. At one point he fumbled without being touched by anyone.

Even though he torched the secondary for four touchdown passes of more than 30 yards each, he and Baylor as a whole could not cash in on their longest possession of the game, when they spent almost twice their usual drive time (about four minutes) getting down the field only to miss a field goal.

For the final piece of evidence that 1) the Wildcats contained the Bears and 2) the Kansas State defense is a whole different animal from last season, consider this. Last year, Baylor hung a school-record 638 yards of offense on the Wildcats. In this year’s game, they only amassed 429.

For some reason, no one wants to admit that this Kansas State defense has some serious heart and even some pretty impressive talent. People were skeptical as the team went to Miami, as the team returned to face Baylor, and some are questioning even now, with Missouri coming in this weekend. I’m not sure what will convince everyone that this is a good defense … except, of course, one more win.

But really, that’s okay, because that’s all coach Bill Snyder wants his team thinking about anyway.

For more conversation about Kansas State and Baylor, check out my appearance on the Pulse Network with Tyler Pyburn.

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Numbers to Know about Baylor

1 Oct

Griffin runs for a 58-yard touchdown past Washington State's Mike Graise in 2008, in Waco, Texas. What's scary is that Griffin is so much better now than he was then. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson)

Mention of the last game between Kansas State and No. 15 Baylor likely makes Wildcat fans cringe and Bears fans fondly reminisce. Baylor hung a school-record 638 yards on Kansas State that day, giving Waco a 47-42 happy ending to Homecoming Week. A little less than a year later, the Bears still terrorize defenses. When they come to Manhattan on Saturday, however, the defense across the field (currently ranked No. 6 in the nation) from them probably won’t look very familiar.

With so much having changed from last year to this year, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen in this game. That said, here are some stats that tell you what’s happened to Baylor before during the tenure of coach Art Briles.

  • 15-4 when leading at halftime
  • 3-17 when trailing at halftime
  • 11-6 when scoring first
  • 7-16 when opponent scores first
  • 0-12 when scoring less than 20 points
  • 9-0 when scoring more than 40 points
  • 10-0 when opponent scores less than 20 points
  • 8-22 when opponent scores more than 20 points
  • 4-19 when opponent scores more than 30 points
  • 0-11 when gaining less than 300 yards
  • 8-1 when opponent gains less than 300 yards
  • 4-13 when opponent converts on third down at least 50% of the time

Preseason Predictions for K-State Football

9 Aug

Making educated guesses about the future is a favorite occupation of journalists and fans alike, so here and up for debate is my win-loss schedule for the Kansas State Wildcats, based on what I’ve read about them and their opponents. Check out my reasoning beneath the actual schedule, and feel free to comment with your opinions and rationale. (Full disclosure: Remember that I am a college student at Kansas State and am therefore predisposed to optimism about the team’s chances!) 

                    Preseason Predictions

Sept. 3          Eastern Kentucky            W            1-0

Sept. 17        Kent State                          W            2-0

Sept. 24        @ Miami (Fla.)                L            2-1

Oct. 1            Baylor                                 W            3-1

Oct. 8            Missouri                            W            4-1

Oct. 15           @ Texas Tech                  W            5-1

Oct. 22           @ Kansas                         W            6-1

Oct. 29           Oklahoma                        L            6-2

Nov. 5             @ Oklahoma State         L            6-3

Nov. 12            Texas A&M                     W            7-3

Nov. 19           @ Texas                            L            7-4

Nov. 26           Iowa State                        W             8-4

Kansas State should easily win the first two games, simply because that’s the reason those games are on the schedule. The next nonconference game is at Miami, and while the Wildcats might win that one, I think the players might need a few more game experiences together before being able to take a decent opponent on the road. I think Kansas State should win against Baylor because it will have the home field advantage and because the Bears have a very talented offense but marginal defense.

For my first major upset pick, I’ll take Kansas State over Missouri simply because then everyone will have played a few games together, it’s home field advantage, and the Tigers are short some of their big names from last season. I’m picking the Wildcats over Texas Tech and Kansas because, although those are road games, I think both those teams have some rebuilding going on that can be exploited. However, Kansas State will likely lose to Oklahoma simply because it’s hard to compete with the physical ability of the players on a team that is No.1 in the country going into the season.

At Oklahoma State, my thought is that the Wildcats won’t be able to keep up the pace on offense. It will be a shootout, and it’s a game Kansas State should be competitive in, but the edge goes to the Cowboys, in my mind. Against Texas A&M in Manhattan, I think the Wildcats can pull another upset. I don’t necessarily have much of a concrete reason for this one; it’s just a feeling. At Texas, I put Kansas State as losing because the Wildcats have beaten the Longhorns so much recently. They’ll be out for revenge, and in Austin, they just might get it. Lastly, the Wildcats should beat Iowa State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. While the Cyclones are not a pushover, Kansas State should be able to fend them off at the end of the season.