Saturday, November 17, 2012
Instant analysis: Baylor 52, K-State 24
By David Ubben
WACO, Texas -- Another year, another Big 12 heartbreak on the road against an opponent that looked overmatched coming in.
Last year, it was Oklahoma State falling to Iowa State. This year, it's Kansas State on the road against Baylor. The Bears knocked off BCS No. 1 52-24, dropping Big 12 BCS No. 1 teams to 2-6 since 2003.
Baylor Bold, indeed. Let's get to some instant analysis:
It was over when:Lache Seastrunk broke free for an 80-yard touchdown run to put Baylor up 52-24 following a Bears interception in the end zone. The game was hardly in the balance, but Seastrunk's touchdown run removed all doubt.
Game ball goes to: Baylor's offensive line. The Bears dominated this game up front for all 60 minutes, putting the Wildcats on their heels. K-State had given up only six rushing touchdowns all season, and Baylor nearly equaled that in a single game.
Unsung hero of the game:Bryce Hager, LB. Nobody harassed Collin Klein more on the night. It seemed like he was in the backfield on every play, and he laid more than a few huge shots on the ex-Heisman front-runner.
Second guessing: K-State pinned Baylor on its 1-yard line in the third quarter, and the Bears elected to throw two wide receiver screens. The second was intercepted by Randall Evans to give K-State the ball right outside the goal line, and the Wildcats cut the lead to 35-24. They never got closer, but it nearly swung the momentum of the game. The call was perplexing considering Baylor's success running the ball all game long.
What it means: The Big 12 is eliminated from the national title race, and Collin Klein's Heisman hopes are almost certainly kaput. K-State heads home next week needing a victory over Texas to win the Big 12. Oklahoma held serve in Morgantown and can still win the Big 12 outright if the Wildcats are upset again in two weeks. Meanwhile, Baylor's bowl hopes got a big upgrade. It was looking slim with three ranked opponents left, but the Bears face Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium next week and get a shot against Oklahoma State to close the season. The odds are still probably against it, but the Bears (5-5, 2-5) will have a decent shot at making a third consecutive bowl. It's another heartbreak for K-State, which climbed to No. 1 only to tumble back down. The 1998 team remains the closest Kansas State has ever come to the national title game, but this was the first K-State team to reach BCS No. 1.