It was a battle of two of the Big 12’s three biggest overachievers this season. Baylor, which Vegas picked to win 3.5 games this season, entered the game at 8-2, 5-2 Big 12, with hopes of playing in the Big 12 Championship alive and kicking. K-State, which Vegas picked to win 5.5 games, entered the game at 7-3, 4-3 Big 12 with the potential to get to 10 wins and be the K-State’s winningest team since the 2012 Big 12 Championship team that went 11-2.
It was also the final home game for K-State’s quarterback Skylar Thompson, who has been starting games for the Wildcats since the November of the 2017 season. In the end, Thompson was knocked out of the game with less than 4:00 minutes to play and his backup, Jaren Lewis, immediately tossed an interception to seal the Cats’ fate.
Here are three thoughts on Baylor’s win, 20-10, at K-State.
1. BAYLOR’S DEFENSE IS PLAYING CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL
In an extremely physical game that was probably closer than the score, the Baylor defense held K-State’s offense nearly in check all night. Deuce Vaughn got loose for a 65-yard touchdown, but otherwise, Baylor’s defense bent a little but did not break. K-State miscues put the Cats in some tough spots, but Baylor’s defense made sure K-State couldn’t overcome their self-inflicted wounds.
With the victory at K-State, the Bears remain in the hunt for the Big 12 Championship game. While Baylor needs a victory over Texas Tech next Saturday and for Oklahoma to lose in Bedlam to claim a spot in the title game, Baylor’s defense is playing up to the task should the Bears get the rematch against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship.
2. BLAKE SHAPEN CAN PLAY
Unfortunately, Baylor’s starting quarterback, Gerry Bohanon, suffered a non-contact hamstring injury as the first half wound down. Shapen, a freshman from Shreveport, LA, entered the game and immediately started completing passes. Shapen continued his sharp play in the second half as he found openings in K-State’s coverage to complete 16 of 21 for 137 yards.
It is unclear how serious Bohanon’s injury is; however, Shapen appears to be very capable of efficiently guiding the Bears. His performance against a solid K-State defense should have Bears’ fans feeling confident if Shapen must start in the season finale against Texas Tech.
3. DEUCE VAUGHN IS POISED TO SET A BIG 12 RECORD
No Big 12 player has ever rushed for 1,000 yards and had 500 yards receiving in a single season. Vaughn is positioned to achieve that this season after breaking the 1,000-yard mark against Baylor by rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown. With 1,115 rushing and 464 receiving, the dynamic Vaughn is just 36 receiving yards away from being the first player in Big 12 history to reach the 1,000/500 rushing/receiving mark.
As disappointing as this loss is for K-State, Vaughn’s ability to set a Big 12 record and the potential for an eight-win regular season means the Cats have plenty to play for on Black Friday against Texas.