Bill Snyder had a humorous reaction when he checked the stat sheet following Baylor’s 48-46 victory over Texas Tech last week and realized the Bears uncharacteristically allowed 712 yards.
“I hope they do that again this week,” Snyder said.
Duplicating Tech’s offensive strategy won’t be easy. Though the Red Raiders gashed the Bears in a furious second-half rally that fell one two-point conversion short of erasing a 28-point deficit, they are one of the few offenses that have caused problems for Baylor’s defense.
The Bears entered that game allowing 21.7 points and 329.7 yards. TCU (58) and West Virginia (41) are the only other teams to top 30 points against them. And that’s with Baylor’s high-octane offense giving the ball to opposing teams 96 times on kickoffs.
“I’m sure they will work diligently to get it corrected,” Snyder said. “It was big plays. They just traded big plays throughout the course of the ballgame. Texas Tech just got some big plays on them. They truly did.”
The biggest plays occurred in the second half, when Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes of 40-plus yards. Overall, Mahomes threw for 598 yards.
K-State senior quarterback Jake Waters gets the next crack at Baylor’s secondary, but his eyes didn’t exactly light up when he studied Baylor on video.
“That’s a really good offensive team, I guess,” Waters said of Texas Tech. “We watched film and Texas Tech was making play after play after play, because they (Baylor) have shown that they have a great defense. They have great athletes, a great coach and their defensive coordinator is great. Their front four and their linebackers are good, too.
“We are expecting them to play a lot better.”
So is Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett. He blamed the defensive breakdown on a lack of intensity from the Bears’ defensive backs.
“When you’re up 45-17, you still have to develop an attitude like, ‘I have to play every play like the score is 0-0.’ We did not do that,” Bennett told reporters in Waco earlier this week. “That’s not any discredit to Texas Tech, because (Mahomes) scrambled around and made some plays. I think we had five missed sacks.
“They (defensive backs) have to match coverage. It’s never just the players, it’s me. I got conservative when we were ahead. It’s hard to flip that switch, and part of their problem is me. You’ve got to stay with your plan and be more aggressive and finish it.”
Bennett, a former defensive coordinator at K-State, is unlikely to hold anything back against Snyder. His defense has gotten the better of K-State in back-to-back seasons, with aggressive blitzes forcing the Wildcats into quick decisions.
They remember those experiences more vividly than Baylor’s poor game against Texas Tech.
“They are very big and strong. They all look like powerful, explosive players. We are going to have to bring our A-game,” K-State offensive lineman Luke Hayes said. “Everyone can have an off day every once in a while. Maybe that was one of their off days. I expect them to play a lot better than that.”
No. 9 Kansas State at No. 5 Baylor
WHEN: 6:45 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas