MANHATTAN, KS - OCTOBER 1: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Baylor Bears pitches the ball to Kendall Wright #1 as he is hit by David Garrett #27 and Arthur Brown #4 of the Kansas State Wildcats during their game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Manhattan, Kansas. The Wildcats won 36-35. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Some thoughts as I wait to see if Mizzou's about to decide not to be conference rivals with these two teams anymore ... and yes, that was pretty poor English.
Kansas State 36, Baylor 35
|Close %||100.0%||STANDARD DOWNS|
|Field Position %||51.6%||64.6%||Success Rate||60.4%||50.9%|
|Close Success Rate||53.2%||45.6%||Success Rate||28.6%||33.3%|
|Close Success Rate||56.0%||50.0%||Turnover Pts||14.6||5.1|
|Close PPP||0.23||0.32||Turnover Pts Margin||-9.5||+9.5|
|Line Yards/carry||3.07||2.95||Q1 S&P||1.204||0.900|
|Close Success Rate||51.4%||38.7%|
|Close PPP||0.61||0.31||1st Down S&P||1.241||0.723|
|Close S&P||1.128||0.699||2nd Down S&P||0.506||0.768|
|SD/PD Sack Rate||11.5%/18.2%||12.5% / 6.7%||3rd Down S&P||0.741||0.835|
|Projected Pt. Margin: Kansas State +6.0 | Actual Pt. Margin: Kansas State +1|
- This really was the Bill Snyder Template For Beating An Athletically Superior Team™. Run more plays, win the turnover battle, make stops when you absolutely have to. For three quarters, Baylor was as incredible in the passing game as it ever was, but ... look at those fourth quarter numbers. As I mentioned in The Numerical, Baylor averaged 2.3 yards per play in the fourth quarter after seemingly scoring instantaneously through the first three quarters.
- The closer to the line of scrimmage, the better K-State looked. They got pushed around by Baylor's run blocking, but their own run blocking was pretty good, and they got after Robert Griffin III, taking him down five times in 37 pass attempts.
- I'm actually surprised that K-State was able to win this game without winning the efficiency battle. Their success rate of 46% was above the national average, but I would have thought they needed at least 50%. That's the power of the turnover battle, I guess.
- Watching this game as a Missouri fan whose alma mater will be facing both of these teams on the road in the next few weeks, I was trying to figure out the recipe for beating each. For Kansas State, I think it's pretty simple: don't make many mistakes. (Rocket science!) Aside from Arthur Brown and David Garrett, this is not a defense that is going to hold an athleticism advantage over most of the offenses it faces in the Big 12, but it is feisty and salty enough that players will be in position to take advantage of mistakes. When KSU has the ball, the goal is to weather the pounding you're going to get from huge option quarterback Collin Klein and make sure that when you force them into a passing down, that's the end of the drive. Klein is not a 3rd-and-7 quarterback, and Baylor allowed a few too many passing downs conversions late in the game.
- To beat Baylor, then you really need to do what K-State did: pounce on mistakes, get your hands up to knock down passes, stay in front of Griffin. Griffin and Kendall Wright are just an incredible combination (Wright: 12 targets, nine catches, 201 yards, 3 TDs), and they are going to burn you a couple of times. But they will make mistakes, and if you capitalize, you're going to give yourself a chance. And as they proved against both TCU and K-State, they don't play well from ahead either, so keep pecking away if they get the lead.