So, that was real fun. I mean REALLY fun. The Bears didn’t just beat Kansas State, they destroyed them. The largest defeat of a #1 ranked BCS team since the Wildcats upset Oklahoma in 2007, the same Sooners that the Bears upset last year on the same weekend in November.
Everything went right for the Bears last night. It was a special night in Waco for sure. All five keys to the game, the Bears accomplished. The Bears limited Kansas State in the return game. They had one great return but their other three kickoff returns went for just 26.67 yards. Their punt returns also were controlled, as they only got 34 total yards on both returns. Here is their starting field position on each drive:
BU 38 (Onside Kick), KSU 25, KSU 29, KSU 8, KSU 22, KSU 37, KSU 31, KSU 27, KSU 50, BU 1, KSU 25, KSU 25, KSU 25, KSU 26
Only three drives started in Bears territory, with one of those at the 50. You take out the weird interception on the goal line, and you cannot ask for a much better performance in terms or controlling the field position.
The Bears also won the turnover battle, and stepped up when it mattered the most. They forced 3 Collin Klein interceptions and also had 2 big 4th down stops. Out of those 5, two of them came on the goal line. Joe Williams, playing the game of his life, had his second interception on a corner route right on the goal line. The big on though that sealed the game was the goal line stop. First and goal at the 6 usually results in a touchdown for the Wildcats. However, four Collin Klein runs were stuffed, with the last two right at the goal line. MOst importantly, that was a 21 play , 8 minute and 7 second drive that resulted in zero points. Kansas State killed the clock and their chances at a come back with that drive.
The Baylor team also made the Wildcats very one-dimensional. This was a team effort, with the Bear offense putting the pressure on a Kansas State team that never trailed by more than 7 points all year. The Bears got out in front early and kept the pressure up. With the deficit, the Wildcats were forced to pass the ball. Klein attempted 50 passes, 22 more than in any other game this year, and 12 more than in any game of his career.
The Baylor defense manhandled the Wildcat front, and stopped their rushing attack. KSU had only 76 net rushing yards, on 31 attempts. John Hubert was limited to just 10 carries. The Bears front 7 limited the rushing attack, but the Baylor offense took it away as a viable option.
Next, the Bears won first down. Just take a look at their first drive. 1st down #1, a 14 yards pass to Antwan Goodley. First down #2, an 11 yard pass to Levi Norwood. First down #4, a 38 yard touchdown pass to Tevin Reese. On their first four first down plays, they averaged 17 yards. The Baylor offense consistently won first down, and set themselves up for 2nd and medium or short.
Finally, I think it would be fair to say that the Bears as a team played with passion. It all started with how the team came onto the field. With injured senior captain Rodney Chadwick on crutches, the Bears walked arm in arm behind him. From that point on, there was no more walking. Baylor defenders flew all over the field. They played like every cliche known to man. Baylor played with passion and with nothing to lose. It was a beautiful sight.
Words of the Game:
Offense - Best
When the rushing attack is playing like this, I have difficulty finding an offense that is better in the nation. They have everything you could ask for. They have an accurate experienced quarterback. They have one of the best wide receivers in the nation surrounded by a deep group of talented receivers. They have two good running backs, with one being the power back that can convert tough 3rd downs, and the other being able to score from anywhere on the field. And finally, they have a dominating offensive line that is great at run and pass blocking. This is a special offense that can beat you in so many ways.
Defense - Finally!
I could easily go with 1000 words, and I don’t know if that would fully describe what we saw from the defense. Wow. That was special. Kansas State had no idea what was in store for them. They came in as a running team that didn’t turn the ball over. On Saturday, they were a turnover prone team that couldn’t run the ball at all, and had to go to a hit or miss passing attack to save them. The Bear defense was aggressive all night and blitzed Klein from all directions. They got pressure on an opposing quarterback for the first time in a long time, and that allowed the secondary the ability to cover their man for 3-5 seconds rather than 10. It was a beautiful sight.
Players of the Game:
Offense - The Offensive Line
Now THAT is how you block. The Baylor bigs played their best game of the year, against a very good front four from Kansas State. They did not allow a single sack, and I really don’t remember Florence dealing with much pressure at all. On the touchdown pass to Terrance Williams, the Wildcats blitzed two guys right up the middle. The Bears line stopped them cold and gave Florence plenty of time to find Williams. Their pass protection was great, but their run blocking might have been ever better.
The Baylor rushing attack destroyed the Wildcats all night, and especially late. Baylor averaged 7 yards per carry, led by Lache Seastrunk who gained 185 yards on 19 carries. His big carry was the 80 yard back breaker after Joe Williams interception on the goal line that turned the game into a rout. It was the last score of the game, and one of the biggest in Baylor history. Even if you take out that 80 yards scamper, he still averaged almost 6 yards per carry.
Glasco Martin also eclipsed the 100 yard mark, gaining 113 yards on 19 carries. Martin did not have a single carry for negative yards, and converted several big 3rd downs, and had three big touchdowns. Martin is turning into a terrific short yardage and goal line power back, but is also starting to show more of that open field ability. On his third touchdown, he had two terrific cuts and still ran over someone for a 15 yard score.
The offensive line was a huge part of both guys success. They opened up holes all night, and got the Bear runners space to make those big plays. A great job for a under-appreciated unit.
Honorable Mention - Lache Seastrunk, Terrance Williams, #55 Adam Davis of K-State (thanks for all those off-sides!!!), not the ref that missed that terrible pass interference play in the endzone
Defense - EVERYONE!!!!
Look, I just can’t pick one guy. Joe Williams played the game of his life. He was brilliant in coverage and had two huge interceptions. Ahmad Dixon (wearing #26 for Chadwick, loved seeing that) was all over the field. Bryce Hager was an animal, and along with his big sack, he had several big hits on Klein that must have raddled the senior single-caller. Eddie Lackey played great position defense all night, highlighted by his tackle for loss on a double reverse that could not have been defender any better.
The defensive line also stepped up, though their stats were not as strong. They held their own all night in the rushing attack and ate up blockers to allow the linebackers to make tackles. They also got good pressure a few times, including Chris McCallister’s big sack on a 3rd down late in the third quarter. Total, the Bears had 10 quarterback hurries, by far their season high.
Honorable Mention - Rodney Chadwick
This is a game that will go down in Baylor lore. The Bears shocked the world and upset a #1 team for the first time in school history. They destroyed the BCS title game hopes for Kansas State and the rest of the conference, but they took a big step towards that 6th win. With two more games on the schedule with neither being a true road game, the Bears chances for a 3rd straight bowl game got a shot in the arm. Enjoy this one Bear fans!