Baylor crushes No. 1 Kansas State’s title hopes

By Krista Pirtle

Sports Editor

This time last season, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III had his “Heisman moment” with the 34-yard touchdown pass to defeat No. 5 Oklahoma 45-38.

This year, Baylor took down the No. 1 team in the nation, Kansas State 52-24.

“It was a great night to be a Baylor Bear,” head coach Art Briles said. “Our guys rose to the occasion. Our fans rose to the occasion and we got a much needed win.”

Baylor senior quarterback Nick Florence was 20-of-32 for 238 yards, pair touchdowns and two interceptions.

Florence also recorded 47 yards and a touchdown.

“We said all week, we knew we had a good team and had a good game plan against them,” Florence said. “We matched up well. All week, we believed we were going to beat them. We weren’t going to be surprised when it happened. We played a great game and overcame a lot of things.”

The Bears had a pretty balanced attack with 342 yards rushing and 580 total offensive yards.

Sophomore running back Lache Seastrunk was out of control, recording a career best 192 yards, including a career best 80 yard touchdown run, and junior Glasco Martin ran for 113 and got the hat trick with a trio of touchdowns.

Through the air, junior receiver Tevin Reese had 61 yards and a touchdown and didn’t catch any in the second half.

Sophomore receiver Levi Norwood had 43 and senior receiver Terrance Williams had 87 and a score.

On the defensive end, junior corner back Joe Williams recorded 11 tackles, nine solo and two interceptions.

Sophomore nickel back Ahmad Dixon followed with 10 tackles, nine solo.

Sophomore linebacker Bryce Hager had ten total, eight solo, a sack and two tackles for loss.

Kansas State senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful Collin Klein was held to only 27-of-50 for 286 yards, a pair of touchdowns and three interceptions.

Klein also ran for 39 yards and a touchdown.

The Bears made the scoreboard first just under two minutes into the game off a 28-yard pass to Reese.

Reese was wide open in the end zone, beating the backup safety in place of junior Ty Zimmerman.

Kansas State answered its next drive with an eight-yard pass.

Baylor would then go on a 21-0 run before the Wildcats would score again with 1:47 remaining in the first half.

The streak started with Florence taking it 12 yards to the house after a balanced attack 75-yards up the field that lasted 3:05.

The Wildcats’ next drive would end quickly after a quarterback hurry by Hager forced Klein to throw an incomplete pass.

Baylor wouldn’t capitalize on the opportunity and punt the ball away, and Kansas State would start the second half with the rock.

However, three plays into the second half, Williams intercepted Klein’s pass, giving the Bears’ offense the ball at its own 21-yard line.

After getting rocked by an unnecessary roughness call, Florence threw a pick of his own.

Baylor’s next drive would end the way most do, with a 22-yard reception by Williams.

Up 21-7, the Baylor defense would force another punt off a quarterback hurry by junior left end Terrance Lloyd forced an incomplete pass.

The Bears’ next drive would be run-heavy and capitalized with a two-yard run into the end zone by Martin.

Kansas State ended the first half with a 23-yard field goal.

The big story of the first half was the 40 yards in penalties Kansas State had, jumping offsides on multiple snaps.

So far this season, Kansas State has outscored its opponents 239-90 in the second half.

Against Baylor, the Wildcats were held to only seven points while the Bears scored 24.

“Coach Briles said the main thing was to kill them from the start,” Dixon said. “First drive, we scored. Then we came out on kickoff and tried to do a surprise pooch kick. We wanted to see how they would respond. All year, they’ve never been down.”

The second half would begin with back-to-back incompletions followed by an interception by junior safety Sam Holl, returned 18 yards to the Kansas State 38-yard line.

Four plays and 49 seconds later, Martin ran it in for the touchdown, making the score 35-17 in favor of Baylor.

Kansas State’s next drive had two passes almost picked off and an interception, forcing a punt, landing at the one-yard line.

Two plays into the Bears’ next drive, Florence threw an interception to a defender on the half-yard line.

Klein then bulldozed his way into the end zone, making the score 35-24, taking one play, going one yard for five seconds.

Four minutes later, Baylor would settle for a 50-yard field goal by junior Aaron Jones.

The Bears would have had the opportunity for a touchdown but a missed pass interference call on third and long didn’t help the Baylor offense.

Kansas State’s first play of the next drive, a reverse, was read perfectly by junior linebacker Eddie Lackie, pushing the Wildcats back 11 yards.

A five-yard Klein run was followed by a sack by junior right end Chris McAllister for a loss of eight yards, forcing Kansas State to punt.

Williams would go to work on the next Baylor drive with a 43-yard reception, spotting Baylor in the red zone.

Two plays later, Martin ran it in 16 yards for the touchdown.

Kansas State would drive down the field and set up shop in the red zone, but Williams would get his second interception of the game in the end zone.

One play, 80 yards and 12 seconds later, Seastrunk would break free and let the horses run. No one was close to catching him as he ran it in for the touchdown.

Kansas State would march down the field and make it to the one-yard line, but four downs later, the Wildcats left empty handed after four straight stands by the Baylor defense.

“That was just icing on the cake for me,” Florence said.

After the stop with 7:51 left in the game, Baylor ran 10 plays for 7:19 before punting the ball to Kansas State, ending the game.

“They took the fight to us, and I thought we weren’t well enough prepared for it,” Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said. “We struggled on both sides of the ball, and I think we were just not prepared. I take full control for that.”