I know that this game didn’t get the “national” attention, but it was certainly a very important game when it comes to the Big 12 title picture. Kansas State was fresh off a loss to Oklahoma State, while Baylor was looking to start 2-0 in conference play. This game had plenty on the line and even though they got the ESPN “C” team on the call for the broadcast on ESPN2, the stakes were just as high if not the highest out of any other Big 12 game on Saturday.
Both offenses struggled early on as each team felt each other out like boxing match. There wasn’t much to takeaway as Baylor punted on their first three drives, while Kansas State did the same on their first two by going three and out twice. Finally, the scoreboard operator got a little work as the Wildcats were able to knock in a 31-yard field goal by Blake Lynch that capped off a ten-play drive. That may have woken up the Bears a little bit because on the ensuing drive, Baylor strung together a little drive of their own that ended in three points to tie up the game early in the second quarter.
On their very next Baylor possession, the offense put together a masterpiece 98-yard drive that resulted in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Brewer to wide out Tyquan Thornton to put the Bears up 10-3 heading into the half.
I am not sure what happened in the locker room at halftime, but Baylor came out hot in the second half. There was no more “feeling out” Kansas State anymore. They absolutely took it to Kansas State by playing great defense and outscoring the Wildcats 21-9. Running back John Lovett would have a pair of touchdown runs in the second half, while back up quarterback Gerry Bohanon scored as well when starting quarterback Charlie Brewer went down in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile Kansas State would just score nine more points thanks to a field goal and a touchdown pass from Skylar Thompson to Dalton Schoen (which came with a missed two-point conversion). Quarterback injury aside, Baylor would go on to grab the win 31-12.
For Baylor, this was a huge win on the road. The defense was superb all game long as the Bears defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage for most of the afternoon to help slow down the Kansas State running game (123 yards on 40 carries). While the offense was a bit slow at first, they found their footing in the second half with some big plays. Obviously, we won’t know the status of starting quarterback Charlie Brewer until at least Sunday, but in time, we will know more. Baylor is now 5-0 for the first time since 2016 and will host Texas Tech next week.
For Kansas State, after a great 3-0 start to the season, they now drop to 3-2 on the season and are 0-2 in Big 12 play, which puts them in a tough spot to contend for a Big 12 title with Texas and Oklahoma still left on the schedule. The defense kept them in it in the first half, but ultimately wore down as the game went on. The offense still has a ways to go in the passing game (especially without Malik Knowles), but Skylar Thompson may need to get more involved in the run game. The Wildcats will have a bye week before they host TCU in two weeks.
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