Some nice moments, but not enough for the Bears. Baylor (0-5, 0-2) lost to Kansas State (3-1, 1-0) 33-20. Baylor will have an off week before facing Oklahoma State. The Bears are 0-5 for the first time since 1978.
Kansas State had a few stretches where they looked substantially better than Baylor. Bill Snyder’s squad was coming off a bye, and at times, this looked like the team some thought could win the Big 12. The Wildcats opened the game with an easy score. And they went into halftime with a 20-3 lead. The game looked over for Baylor.
But the Bears had some good moments too. John Lovett ran for a 74 yard touchdown, and Zach Smith opened the game 11-for-11. He finished the day with 291 yards and a touchdown pass to Denzel Mims:
Jesse Ertz—Kansas State’s quarterback—carved the Bear’s defense much of the day. The Bears couldn’t wrap him up. He finished the game with 95 rushing yards and a brutal 7.9 yards per carry. Kansas State’s Alex Barnes proved nearly as elusive. He extended drives and killed the clock all day.
Ultimately, the Bears were not good enough to survive many self-inflicted wounds. Sam Tecklenburg—a tight end three months ago—is now the Bears starting center. Baylor had the ball down 20-13 at midfield. He snapped the ball about 10 feet over Smiths’ head. The Wildcats recovered, and the Bears played too far behind the rest of the day. The Bears missed blocks and tackles. A few small problems ruined a few big plays.
Baylor moved the ball on their last drive. It ended with a Smith interception. Too little time and too much to do; a synopsis of the last two weeks.
Like most Baylor games, this is a contest where fans can see what they’d like. Mims looks like a star, and Pooh Stricklin had some nice catches. Connor Martin had to take over punting duties after Drew Galitz suffered a lower extremity injury. He showed fearlessness and picked up a first down on a fake punt. Smith made good throws with limited time, and the defense played pretty well in the red zone.
Pessimists can also continue to see major problems. The Bears had five penalties in the first quarter. The offensive line has moments of disaster. And the defense can’t stop mobile quarterbacks or make some basic tackles. Charlie Brewer’s redshirt is gone after he came in for a few plays in the second quarter. The Bear’s lack of depth only intensifies as Michael Johnson joins the list of injured Bears, and Clay Johnston mashes defenders with a cast.
Once again, the Bears have shown more than enough to demonstrate the process can work. The 2019 Bears should be a lot better than the 2017 Bears. But it remains 2017 and Baylor is travelling to Stillwater in two weeks. Things probably aren’t getting better soon.