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October 23, 2010
Wildcats can't keep pace with Baylor
WACO, Texas -- It may have eaten up close to two hours of real time, but the stat sheet will show that Baylor's first scoring drive of its 47-42 victory over Kansas State took just more than three minutes. The second number is more indicative of the situation. Even lightning, which caused a more than 90-minute delay, could only stall the Bears' offense on Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium. It definitely didn't stop it.
As for K-State's defense? Well, it had less luck than the weather.
The Wildcats' defense got a stop on Baylor's second possession when Raphael Guidry intercepted a tipped pass from Robert Griffin on K-State's 12-yard line, but the two turnovers the unit forced on Saturday turned out to be anomalies of avalanche proportions. Baylor punted just twice, and the interception accounted for one of just five total stops K-State produced.
"I'm angry," defensive end Brandon Harold said following the loss. "I'm most definitely angry. I'm tired of losing, man. I hate losing."
The sophomore's vocal digest was warranted as the inclement weather represented K-State's best chance against Griffin, who finished the game with a career-high 404 passing yards and four touchdowns to go along with the one interception. The Bears' sixth win of the season featured 29 first downs, the second-longest run from scrimmage in Baylor history and a school record for rushing yards in a game. If there's such a thing as a "quiet 47 points," the ones Art Briles's team scored on Saturday certainly weren't them.
"We gave up so many big plays," K-State coach Bill Snyder said. "Against an awfully good football team like they are, you can't afford to be out of position and give up those big plays. We did."
Baylor, which went to a bowl-eligible 6-2 with the win, abused an often-criticized defensive front to the tune of a Bears' record 683 total offensive yards and an average of 9.3 per play. It was a 60-minute, Tyson-like barrage of uppercuts and the Wildcats, though they swung back, never bothered to block.
The most deadly blows were dealt from the hand of Baylor running back Jay Finley. The senior impressed nearly every time he touched the ball, accounted for a pair of scores and racked up a school-record 251 yards.
"He's a very talented and very fine running back," Snyder said of Finley.
Still, it's not as if Finley didn't have plenty of help.
"We weren't near the football team we need to be on defense," Snyder added. "We just didn't play well enough to get a stop. "
Everything worked; runs, passes, reverses the entire arsenal, and yet K-State stayed in the game. Even so, while K-State's offense, led by a 113-yard, three-touchdown performance by tailback Daniel Thomas, who also coughed up a costly second-half fumble, it didn't have the gas to stick out the race.
Not even a 100-yard, kickoff return touchdown in the third quarter from William Powell could provide an adequate spark, although it kept the Wildcats in striking distance. Meanwhile, the defense seemed to casually look on as Griffin tossed four touchdown passes, the most of his career.
"We knew what they were going to do and we didn't get them stopped," defensive back David Garrett, who recorded seven total tackles, said. "We didn't play the way we know we can play."
Following a three-play, 61-yard scoring drive capped by a 47-yard pass from Griffin to sophomore Josh Gordon that gave the Bears a 28-21 lead late in the first half, K-State's offense momentarily stalled, leaving the defense to fend for itself.
Problem was, it didn't do much fending.
Holes large enough through which to drive a golf cart appeared frequently in game's later stages, but Snyder wasn't ready to heap the blame on a single group.
"It wasn't just our defense," Snyder said. "It was a team loss. We had opportunities the we failed on regardless of how many points we scored."
Making things more agonizing for the Wildcat defense was the fact that K-State quarterback Carson Coffman turned in his second consecutive solid performance. The senior completed 20 of his 29 passing attempts and threw for 231 yards against the Bears. But the offensive surge and the 42 points it produced were simply not enough.
"It was kind of frustrating," Coffman said. "It was more frustrating just offensively, though. I felt like we could have scored every time. I had that costly interception and Daniel had a fumble. I think that hurt us a lot."
Saturday's loss drops the Wildcats to 5-2 on the year, leaving them one win short of bowl eligibility with five games left on the schedule. K-State will host another high-powered offense in Oklahoma State next Saturday before squaring off with Texas at Snyder Family Stadium the following weekend.