Bama loves Baylor: Bears dominate No. 1 Kansas State and upset BCS rankings
Everyone wondered how Baylor would follow up the program's first Heisman Trophy win. The Bears did it by upsetting the No. 1 team in the country. The resounding 52-24 victory over Kansas State was Baylor's first against a top-ranked opponent since 1957.
Baylor dominated every inch of the field. Well, save for the half-yard line next to the end zone, where quarterback Nick Florence threw a third-quarter interception many believed would turn the tide of the game against the Bears. It didn't. With the score 35-24, Baylor got the ball back and continued to pummel the Wildcats, who would never score again.
The game ran like a highlight reel of Baylor's best moments and nearly none of its worst.
The game ran like a highlight reel of Baylor's best moments and nearly none of its worst. Head coach Art Briles' gutsy play-calling was on full display, and for the first time in a long time, it paid off with a win.
Baylor has been a contender in every game this year, including contests against Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas. But they never had the follow-through, the finishing power or, most important, a defense of any consequence.
That changed Saturday night. Under the lights of Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Baylor's defense showed up in force.
The Bears held Kansas State to only 76 rushing yards, and the Wildcats converted just eight of 19 third-down attempts. Baylor did get some help from Kansas State's offensive line, whose false-start penalties gave the Wildcats a bigger challenge than usual.
In the end, though, it was a game dictated by Baylor. The Bears' fast-tempo, no-huddle offense routinely led to points in less than two minutes. This left the Kansas State defense gassed and the offense nervous. Call it the Sports Illustrated curse or just plain bad luck, but Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein looked like a gun-shy freshman in the pocket, not a Heisman frontrunner.
Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein looked like a gun-shy freshman in the pocket, not a Heisman frontrunner.
Klein completed just 27 of 50 passes for 286 yards and threw three interceptions — as many as he had thrown all season before taking the field in Waco. Meanwhile, Florence completed 20 of 32 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 47 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground.
But this was not a quarterback showdown; it was the Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk show.
The two running backs ripped Kansas State all night, breaking through tackles, spinning past defenders and generally looking like the better athletes on the field. Martin ran for three touchdowns, and Seastrunk had 185 yards rushing punctuated by an 80-yard score in the third quarter.
In the words of Robert Griffin III, it was unbelievably believable. However, despite knocking off the No. 1 team in the country, at 5-5 Baylor is one win shy of a bowl game bid. With remaining contests against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, the Bears still have work to do.
The biggest winner of the evening was likely Alabama. The Crimson Tide, which had been No. 1 for most of the season, seemed out of contention for the BCS Championship only a week ago after they were upset by Texas A&M. But with Baylor's surprise victory over Kansas State and Oregon's shocking loss to Stanford, Bama is back in the thick of things.