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Final Score: Baylor 31, Kansas State 24

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Jarrett Stidham put up amazing numbers in his first start, but the defense ... the defense has some problems. This one isn't going to win any style points.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I'm going to make a prediction here that has zero risk of being wrong: Art Briles will love this win.  He loves every win, just about, but he'll definitely love this one with a true freshman QB throwing for 400+ yards on the road over a team/coach for whom he has tremendous respect.*

*I swear I wrote this before they interviewed him on the field after the game.  But guess what? He loved the win.

But this wasn't a pretty game in any respect.  The defense gave up 258 yards on the ground, 153 of which went to Joe Hubener, and had serious trouble late against the Snydercats.  That let KSU back into what should have been a relatively easy win and made things far more close than they needed to be.

That negativity aside, things looked pretty amazing in this game on the offensive side for the vast majority.  I already mentioned Stidham's numbers (23/33 for 419, 2 TDs), but as good as he was, Corey Coleman might have been better.  He had 11 receptions for 216 yards and both of those TDs, including one that came on a play where he literally jumped over the freshman DB unfortunate enough to have to cover him.

I have a lot of thoughts about this game, but at this point, they're going to be extremely disjointed.  Virtually everyone I've seen lauded Stidham's performance in his first start as a true freshman while deriding the defense.  Briles on the field after the game talked about bad calls, something I can't recall him ever doing before.  There are obvious weaknesses that need to be fixed to avoid exploitation, and obvious strengths that will give any team we play problems.

I dunno.  I'm spent.

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Jarrett Stidham is the most-talented freshman QB I've ever seen, and I know it's just one game.  He made throw after incredible throw and looked like a QB well beyond his years.  The only drive I'd quibble with overall involved a run read he should have made, but didn't.  Otherwise, he was phenomenal.  If we didn't have 4-5 drops, his numbers would be even better.
  2. If you do a Heisman list and don't have Corey Coleman on it, you should not be allowed to do any more such lists. 20 TDs through 8 games.
  3. Andrew Billings is the most indispensable player on our defense, and it isn't close.  When he went out, the defense had serious problems.  When he played, we were significantly better.
  4. The running game is going to suffer until we establish some kind of edge threat.  We had that with Seth Russell, but until we show it with Stidham (or alter things slightly to find it somewhere else), teams are going to stack the middle.
  5. Speaking of the running game, Devin Chafin was a very welcome sight back in the fourth quarter.  We might not have won this game without him.

Game Stats:

Matchup
1st Downs 20 23
3rd down efficiency 5-14 4-11
4th down efficiency 3-3 2-3
Total Yards 522 430
Passing 419 172
Comp-Att 23-33 13-23
Yards per pass 13.1 8.1
Interceptions thrown 0 2
Rushing 103 258
Rushing Attempts 34 48
Yards per rush 3.0 5.4
Penalties 11-119 7-40
Turnovers 0 3
Fumbles lost 0 1
Interceptions thrown 0 2
Possession 21:59 38:01