Right on Kimball Final Score (8)K-State lost the de facto Big 12 Championship game Saturday night to Baylor 38-27.

In 20-odd years of watching Bill Snyder coached football games, I’ve noticed a rhythm to most games. Heavy doses of the running game figure early, and each team seems to punt once or twice before the ice is broken. Among few outliers to this recipe are K-State’s matchups with Baylor. Besides the 2013 Fiesta Bowl in which Oregon’s breakneck pace and sprinter’s speed suffocated the game, no one has been able to change K-State’s approach more than Art Briles’ Baylor Bears. Baylor wideouts gained a free release the entire first half, enabling short and medium gains all day. How many times did Baylor throw off the cameraman with misdirection plays tonight? According to Powercat Illustrated’s D. Scott Fritchen, Baylor earned 11 first downs in its first 20 plays from scrimmage. Maybe K-State was refusing to get beat over the top as they were in 2012 when an injury to Ty Zimmerman exposed a weakness in the team’s secondary at Waco. Regardless, Baylor was able to move down the field enough to gain a 10-point halftime lead that proved insurmountable.

What I liked:

  • Balanced offense early. A gain of five by Demarcus Robinson led off K-State’s playcalling, and an out to Curry Sexton garnered a first down at midfield.
  • That Randall Evans interception. Though the Bears were rolling down the field (see below), the end zone removes a key part of the Baylor offensive attack: the deep ball. Evans stepped in front of a Bryce Petty pass and tumbled to the ground with his fourth pick of the season.
  • Jake Waters. The Wildcats’ other #15 showed up big, hitting passes short and deep, and forcing pass interference calls by Baylor’s handsy defensive backs.
  • The use of a tight end as a pass receiver. Zach Trujillo helped prolong one drive and scored a huge touchdown with less than 5 minutes to go in the second quarter.
  • The re-emergence of K-State’s running game. Running back Charles Jones’ 2-yard touchdown run from the wildcat formation brought the Wildcats back to a 14-7 score. Prior to that, several productive DeMarcus Robinson runs prolonged an important, time-consuming drive.
  • Tyler Lockett. It almost seems repetitive, but we won’t realize how much we miss Lockett until next season. Time after time, Lockett got first downs, none bigger than an 18-yard reception on 3rd and 18 late in the 3rd quarter.
  • Seeing Lockett catch his 27th touchdown pass – surpassing his Dad, K-State great Kevin Lockett.
  • Hearing Todd Blackledge repeat, “I think the Big 12 is stronger than the Big 10,”  Thanks Todd. As ESPN itself revealed last week, the Big 12 is stronger than the SEC.

What I didn’t:

  • K-State’s pass coverage early. Baylor took what our defense gave, which was enough to march down the field quickly. By the opening quarter’s 13:25 mark, Baylor signal-caller Bryce Petty had plunged in for a touchdown enabling a 7-0 lead. Understanding Baylor’s high octane offense will move the chains and get touchdowns, it was frustrating to watch K-State look either unprepared or unwilling to adjust to Briles’ offensive schemes.
  • That no-call on Tyler Lockett during K-State’s first drive. Of course the officials are human, and very few games are actually close enough to come down to calls made by referees – but Baylor’s defensive back could have been called for two or three penalties on that pass play alone. That no-call was followed up by a terrible booth review of Danziel McDaniel’s recovered fumble. The play would have killed Baylor’s late 1st quarter drive, when the score remained 7-0. Check Twitter for the frame that sure looks like McDaniel recovered the ball well within the boundary.
  • Within two plays, K-State senior safety Dylan Schellenberg suffered a leg injury that required a golf cart to help him leave the field. Schellenberg took some heat from Cat fans earlier in the season, but he stepped up and had key tackles in victories against conference opponents – most notably at Oklahoma. You hate to see his college career end that way.
  • Jonathan Truman and Trent Tanking also were lost to injury – not helping.
  • Not running a lightning quick play-call after that fumble by Baylor mid-way through the second quarter. Instead of running a play before officials could decide to take another look at the fumble, our offense went through it’s glacially-paced system, enabling multiple replays and three camera angles of Art Briles standing with his mouth wide open.
  • Conservative play-calling. The multiple Wildcat packages at the goal line and with Jake Waters on 3rd and 3 coming out of a timeout were head scratchers that resulted in field goals. Matthew McCrane has been an excellent kicker, but we weren’t going to win this game due to the strength or accuracy of his right leg.
  • Calling a pass play to feature Deante Burton. K-State had three sure-handed receivers in Lockett, Curry Sexton and Kody Cook. Burton wasn’t ready for a Waters fastball, leading to a Baylor interception that sealed K-State’s fate.
  • What did you think about tonight’s game?

About The Author

Charlie is a 2001 K-State grad and has gone to games and followed the Wildcats since 1992.

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