Baylor’s not very good, and like Kansas State are coming off a tough overtime loss. Unlike Kansas State, Baylor lost in overtime to a Houston team Kansas State bodied 41-0, while Kansas State lost in overtime to a Texas team that bodied Baylor 38-6. The Wildcats are currently getting 21 points from DraftKings for a reason.
The Bears are 63rd in the nation in total offense, averaging 391 yards a game, but are 98th in points scored at 22 a game. They’ve found some success moving the ball, but haven’t turned yards into points in any appreciable way.
The Bears get most of their yards through the air, averaging 277 passing yards a game. That’s good for 30th in the nation and is significantly better than their 109th-ranked rushing attack that only provides 114 yards per game.
Quarterback Blake Shapen is at the controls for the Bears’ offense, and he’s done well this season, completing 142 of 223 passing attempts for 1738 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. The diminutive but dynamic Monaray Baldwin is Shapen’s favorite target. He may only be 5’8”, 170, but he’s got legit track speed and can turn something into nothing in the blink of an eye.
Here’s your challenge, Kansas State.
Make someone other than Baldwin beat you. He’s averaging 17.2 yards a reception and has 3 touchdowns on the season. He’s gone for over 100 yards 3 times this season. Joe Klanderman’s defense has been victimized by #1 receivers all season. Luther Burden has 7 catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. AD Mitchell had 8 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats are better equipped to stop a small, quick receiver like Baldwin than a big, fast receiver like Burden or Mitchell, but I want to see attention to detail.
There’s one guy on Baylor that can beat you; don’t let him do it. Don’t let him get the edge on screen passes. Don’t lose him when he goes in motion. Keep a safety over the top of their best player instead of rolling him away and leaving your defensive back in man coverage while the safety crashes down on their run-blocking tight end on the opposite side of the field.
This is a good matchup for Jacob Parrish, but Baldwin can run by him if given the space. To be fair, Baldwin has legit track speed and can run by most defensive backs when given the space. You should never see Baldwin running deep without a safety over the top. If you do, it spells trouble for the defense.
I don’t think this one is going to be close, and I think the ‘Cats cover the 21 with ease because Baylor’s defense is bad. They’re 98th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 29 points a game. To make matters much, much worse for the Bears, they are 119th in run defense, giving up 187 yards a game.
What I’m seeing here is the 119th best rushing defense in the nation facing the 12th best rushing attack. I don’t need to type much more than that. The game plan is simple. Run the ball until Baylor quits, and then run the ball 20 more times. Maybe throw in an occasional deep shot if they’re really cheating against the run.
Remember the Houston game?
Kansas State can do the same thing to Baylor’s defense.
That’s it, that’s the preview.
Baylor can’t win this game unless Kansas State comes out sad and unfocused after the Texas loss. I don’t think that happens. The Wildcats choose the path of least resistance, run for over 300 yards on the day, and end the game in the 3rd quarter.
Baylor can’t stop what Kansas State does best.
It’s that simple.