The Baylor Bears (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) connected on three long touchdown passes and forced a crucial late turnover to earn a 35-25 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) Saturday. Baylor's high-powered offense was largely grounded by Kansas State's bruising running attack, but the Bears were able to find enough points and record a number of important defensive stops.
Baylor built a 21-10 halftime lead through a pair of long touchdown passes. Bears quarterback Bryce Petty hit Tevin Reese for a 93-yard touchdown with nine minutes left in the second half, then connected on a 72-yard strike to Antwan Goodley two minutes before halftime.
Kansas State, which had no trouble running the ball against Baylor's defense most of the day, opened the third quarter with a 13-play, 60-yard drive for a field goal. The Wildcats then forced a three-and-out -- the first this season by Baylor's offense -- and blocked the punt. It took Kansas State just two plays to cover the 19 remaining yards, with quarterback Daniel Sams running in his second touchdown of the game. A two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete, and Baylor retained a slim two-point lead.
Two plays into the next Baylor series, KSU defensive end Ryan Mueller stripped the ball from a scrambling Petty, again giving Kansas State excellent field position. The Wildcats used 10 plays to take it 44 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. Again, the two-point conversion failed, and KSU's lead was 25-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Baylor needed only five plays to strike back, and the Bears did so in the only way they know how: A 54-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Reese, which gave Baylor a three-point advantage. Kansas State's grinding rushing attack went back to work, covering 56 yards in seven plays to set up a 41-yard field goal attempt. Kicker Jack Cantele pulled the kick wide left.
The Kansas State defense made yet another stop, and Kansas State took the ball back at its own 20 with a chance for a go-ahead score. But Sams picked a terrible time to commit the Wildcats' first turnover, throwing an interception to Ahmad Dixon and allowing Baylor to run out the clock. Glasco Martin IV broke a game-cementing touchdown run five plays later.
Box Score Hero: Bryce Petty didn't complete many passes -- just 12, to be exact -- but he made them count. The junior quarterback racked up 332 passing yards and three touchdowns, each covering more than 50 yards. He had a hand in all four Baylor touchdowns, running in the fourth score of the day.
Rankings Ramifications: Baylor didn't get many style points for their win, but Oklahoma's loss to Texas puts the Bears in the pole position for the Big 12 title race. The No. 15 Bears should move up slightly.
But Did They Cover? Baylor entered Saturday as a 17-point favorite, and were unable to cover the spread.
Next Week's Schedule: Baylor hosts Iowa State next week, while Kansas State welcomes the West Virginia Mountaineers.