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First Look: Baylor Bears vs. K-State Wildcats

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Under 60 hours to go and we're taking our first look at Thursday's opponent: The Kansas State Wildcats.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
vs.
2/2 BAYLOR (7–0, 4–0) vs. NR/NR Kansas State (3–4, 0–4)
Nov. 5, 2015 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Manhattan, Kan. | Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000)

TV: FS1
Watch |  Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes

OPPONENT: Kansas State Wildcats
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats 2015
MEET THE PRESS: Baylor vs. K-State
PREDICT THE SCORE: Kansas State Wildcats
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.kstatesports.com
MEDIA GUIDE: 2015 K-State Football Media Guide (Click here for roster)
LAST MEETING: 38–27 Baylor | ODB Game Hub
LAST GAME: L; 23–9 Texas
SB NATION BLOG: Bring On The Cats, at right
SPREAD: Baylor –18.5 (Open: Baylor –18.5)
TV COVERAGE: FS1, 6:30 p.m. CST Thursday WEATHER FORECAST: Thunderstorms, high of 66°, WNW winds 5–10mph (wunderground puts game time temp at 56°, 93% chance of thunderstorms) (OH GIVE ME A BREAK)

SBNation.com K-State Preview
baylorbears.com Preview
Bears vs. Wildcats Coverage

Stidham’s Time Is Here

Look, this topic has been analyzed from every angle and beaten to death so I’m just going to leave us with Coach Briles’ words from yesterday’s presser:

Here We Go Again.

There’s one day of weather forecast in Manhattan, Kansas for the next week. Every other day is sunny perfection. But Thursday there will be thunderstorms. Because of course there will. What’s more, the forecast has only gotten firmer that storms of the thunderous variety will be occurring in Manhattan around game time on Thursday. We really hope it won’t happen, but it certainly looks like it might at this point.

K-State Wildcats 2015 Schedule

September
South Dakota Coyotes Saturday, September 05 2015 win 34–0 coverage
@ Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners Saturday, September 12 2015 win 30–3 coverage
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Saturday, September 19 2015 win 39–33 coverage
October
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday, October 03 2015 loss 34–36 coverage
TCU Horned Frogs Saturday, October 10 2015 loss 45–52 coverage
Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, October 17 2015 loss 0–55 coverage
@ Texas Longhorns Saturday, October 24 2015 loss 9–23 coverage
November
Baylor Bears Thursday, November 05 2015 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders Friday, November 13 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage
Iowa St. Cyclones Friday, November 20 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ Kansas Jayhawks Friday, November 27 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage
December
West Virginia Mountaineers Friday, December 04 2015 7:00 PM EST coverage

This is such a tough look for K-State. A solid start to the season in the first half of September, albeit with a nervy win over Louisiana Tech towards the end of the month. The Snydercats then opened Big 12 play with a brutal loss to Oklahoma State, then lost a heartbreaker against TCU at home. They absolutely dominated the first half of that tilt, using their ground game to phenomenal success in the first half. Then the ’Cats forgot all about what gave them their lead, started trying to air it out, and lost the game in the final minutes. They followed that loss up with an historic loss against the Sooners at home and a road loss to the Longhorns, leaving them to regroup during their bye week.

K-State Injury Report

Player Status Injury Comment
Cre Moore Out Personal Moore is dealing with legal issues and it is unclear when he will return to action.
Jesse Ertz Out Knee Ertz will miss an undetermined amount of time with a knee injury.
Jonathan Banks Out Illness Banks is dealing with an illness and will miss an unknown amount of time.
Dante Barnett Out Shoulder Barnett is sidelined with a shoulder injury and there is no timetable for his return.
Kaleb Prewett Questionable Undisclosed Prewett missed the last game due to an undisclosed issue and is questionable to play Thursday against Baylor.
Duke Shelley Questionable Undisclosed Shelley is questionable to play Thursday against Baylor due to an undisclosed injury.
Alex Delton Questionable Knee Delton is questionable to play Thursday against Baylor due to a knee injury.
Nate Jackson Questionable Undisclosed Jackson missed the last game due to an undisclosed issue and is questionable to play Thursday against Baylor.
Elijah Lee Questionable Undisclosed Lee is dealing with an unspecified injury and is questionable to play Thursday against Baylor.
Danzel McDaniel Questionable Undisclosed McDaniel missed the last game due to an undisclosed issue and is questionable to play Thursday against Baylor.

This comes from sports-reference.com, and I’m not sure exactly how accurate it is, but it caught my eye, so I decided to include it in this report. Lots of guys out. Really tough breaks for K-State all around.

K-State Wildcats 2015 Individual Stats

Quarterbacks

Passing
Rk Player Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
1 Joe Hubener 66 145 45.5 963 6.6 5.8 5 5 105.8
2 Kody Cook 12 26 46.2 138 5.3 5.1 2 1 108.4

If you’ve not been paying close attention to this team, look at the second name on this list. Now, look down below at the Rushing & Receiving Stats at #4. That’s right, the #2 QB on the team is also the third best receiver for the Wildcats in terms of receptions and yards. It’s been a terrible year for K-State QBs. After being named the starter out of fall camps, Jesse Ertz suffered a knee injury on the very first play of their first game against South Dakota. Backup QBs Alex Delton got hurt against UTSA and Jonathan Banks has some sort of mystery illness (not making light here, I just can’t find what it is). That means that the backup became… WR Kody Cook. He looked solid against Oklahoma State and has taken at least a few snaps in each game since.

Rushing & Receiving Stats

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Rk Player Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
1 Joe Hubener 88 258 2.9 6 88 258 2.9 6
2 Justin Silmon 62 278 4.5 2 1 3 3.0 0 63 281 4.5 2
3 Charles Jones 59 298 5.1 3 3 82 27.3 0 62 380 6.1 3
4 Kody Cook 34 103 3.0 1 10 186 18.6 2 44 289 6.6 3
5 Winston Dimel 21 50 2.4 3 2 80 40.0 0 23 130 5.7 3
6 Glenn Gronkowski 7 29 4.1 0 3 29 9.7 1 10 58 5.8 1
7 Dalvin Warmack 5 40 8.0 0 5 40 8.0 0
8 Alex Delton 4 18 4.5 0 4 18 4.5 0
9 Dominique Heath 3 17 5.7 0 17 215 12.6 2 20 232 11.6 2
10 Justin Hughes 1 6 6.0 0 1 6 6.0 0
11 Jesse Ertz 1 5 5.0 0 1 5 5.0 0
12 Deante Burton 20 261 13.1 2 20 261 13.1 2
13 Kyle Klein 11 127 11.5 0 11 127 11.5 0
14 Andre Davis 9 103 11.4 0 9 103 11.4 0
15 Zach Reuter 1 9 9.0 0 1 9 9.0 0
16 Steven West 1 6 6.0 0 1 6 6.0 0

The numbers here indicate K-State’s struggles. No running backs (or running quarterbacks) have over 300 yards 7 games into the season. But Snyder has had a full 10 days to prepare for Baylor, and you know that he will attempt to use his mobile quarterback effectively against the Bears. If the weather holds with what we think it will be, look for Snyder to attempt to limit the Bears’ possessions through ball control and a "ground and pound" strategy, much like he did in the first half against TCU. He lost that focus in the second half of that game, and the Frogs came roaring back on him. If the ’Cats get the same sort of lead on Baylor, I don’t expect that he’ll make the same mistake again. The Bears need a fast start and jump out to a quick lead, forcing the Wildcats out of that strategy and make them try to air the ball out to catch up.

2015 K-State Wildcats Team Stats and Rankings

Statistic National
Rank
Conference
Rank
Value National Leader Value Conference
Leader
Value
3rd Down Conv. % 73 7 0.389 Texas Tech 0.550 Texas Tech 0.550
3rd Down Defense 99 6 0.433 Clemson 0.212 West Virginia 0.296
4th Down Conv. % 22 3 0.667 Oklahoma St.
LSU
1.000
1.000
Oklahoma St. 1.000
4th Down Defense 42 4 0.417 NC State 0.000 Baylor 0.375
Blocked Kicks 55 2 1 Temple
Illinois
5
5
Baylor 2
Blocked Kicks Allowed 1 1 0 45 teams tied 0 4 teams tied 0

Blocked Punts

Temple 4 Oklahoma St.
Baylor
1
1
Blocked Punts Allowed 1 1 0 78 teams tied 0 8 teams tied 0
Completion Percentage 121 10 0.456 Western Ky. 0.723 Oklahoma 0.697
Defensive TDs Buffalo 6 Oklahoma St. 4
Fewest Penalties 20 1 39 Navy 27 Kansas St. 39
Fewest Penalties/Gm 42 1 5.57 Georgia Tech 3.56 Kansas St. 5.57
Fewest Penalty Yards 11 1 311 Navy 252 Kansas St. 311
Fewest Penalty YPG 28 1 44.43 Georgia Tech 31.67 Kansas St. 44.43
First Downs Defense 46 4 151 Clemson 104 Baylor 147
First Downs Offense 122 10 127 Texas Tech 263 Texas Tech 263
Fumbles Lost 19 2 3 UNLV
Florida St.
1
1
TCU 2
Fumbles Recovered 88 9 4 6 teams tied 10 Baylor
Oklahoma St.
9
9
Kickoff Return Defense 16 2 17.48 Memphis 14.07 Iowa St. 16.77
Kickoff Returns 24 3 24.00 Tennessee 40.39 West Virginia 24.96
Net Punting 39 4 38.85 San Jose St. 43.52 Baylor 42.29
Passes Had Intercepted 40 4 6 LSU 0 Texas 3
Passes Intercepted 113 10 3 Arkansas St.
Boise St.
16
16
West Virginia 13
Passing Offense 115 9 157.3 Bowling Green 434.1 Texas Tech 413.4
Passing Yards Allowed 110 8 269.7 San Jose St. 122.1 Oklahoma 168.4
Passing Yards/Cplt 17 4 14.12 Army West Point 21.81 Baylor 17.03
Punt Return Defense 29 5 5.11 Northwestern –1.50 Oklahoma 1.29
Punt Returns 73 6 7.64 Virginia 26.00 Iowa St. 17.88
Red Zone Defense 78 6 0.846 Toledo 0.474 TCU 0.750
Red Zone Offense 17 2 0.906 Navy 0.970 Oklahoma St. 0.950
Rushing Defense 47 2 147.4 Boston College 64.2 Oklahoma St. 138.5
Rushing Offense 85 8 157.3 Ga. Southern 385.6 Baylor 338.3
Sacks Allowed 116 9 3.14 Air Force
Toledo
0.00
0.00
TCU 0.75
Scoring Defense 78 5 28.9 Wisconsin 11.0 Oklahoma 18.4
Scoring Offense 81 7 27.3 Baylor 61.1 Baylor 61.1
Tackles for Loss Allowed 103 8 7.00 Toledo 2.71 TCU 4.13
Team Passing Efficiency 114 10 106.19 Baylor 197.82 Baylor 197.82
Team Passing Eff. D 93 6 140.16 Marshall 86.86 Oklahoma 101.64
Team Sacks 33 4 2.57 Penn St. 3.89 Oklahoma
Oklahoma St.
3.75
3.75
Team Tackles for Loss 72 7 5.9 Boston College 9.8 Oklahoma St. 9.0
Time of Possession 30 2 32:10 Stanford 34:56 Iowa St. 32:22
Total Defense 83 5 417.1 Boston College 223.8 Oklahoma 321.4
Total Offense 120 10 314.6 Baylor 686.1 Baylor 686.1
Turnover Margin 90 9 –0.29 Houston 1.88 Baylor 1.14
Turnovers Gained 118 10 7 California
Houston
22
22
Oklahoma St. 19
Turnovers Lost 21 3 9 LSU
Florida St.
2
2
Texas 6
Winning Percentage 82 6 0.429 11 teams tied 1.000 Baylor
Oklahoma St.
TCU
1.000
1.000
1.000

It’s Question Time!

A: This is less a question and more a strong suggestion: check out the folks at BOTC, both on their blog and on Twitter. They’re basically my favorite non-Baylor Big 12 folks. If you have questions for them about K-State that are serious, feel free to ask and we’ll see about getting them answered.
2: How excited/scared are you about seeing Jarrett Stidham in a meaningful spot? 98% excited, 2% scared? Or is it 2% excited, 98% scared?
π: How much does the rain worry you?
§ 2254: It’s been far too long since I’ve requested a gif. Give me a gif that correctly displays your anticipation for Thursday night, your ability to concentrate this week, or something else in .gif form.
Umlaut: Uniform prediction. GO.