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First Look: Kansas State Wildcats

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Time to start taking a closer look at our final opponent of the regular season: The Kansas State Wildcats

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are, folks. The final game of the regular season, and it couldn't be a bigger game. I said in the Meet The Press post that this could be the biggest game in the history of Baylor Football. There have been quite a few of those over the past couple of years, but I think it's pretty safe to say that this is, in my mind, the biggest game that the Baylor Bears have ever played. If the Bears win, they will have accomplished something that only Oklahoma has done in the Big 12, and that's win back-to-back conference championships. With a victory, the Bears will also equal the number of Big 12 Conference championships won by the Longhorns under Mack Brown. Not to mention the potential for a potential berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff. But before we get all starry-eyed about that, the Bears have to win this one, and their opponent won't be easy. This week the Bears are squaring off against the Kansas State Wildcats.

vs.
5/5/7 BAYLOR (10-1, 7-1) vs. 9/9/12 KANSAS STATE (9-2, 7-1)
Dec. 6, 2014 | 6:45 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | McLane Stadium (46,140)

TV: ESPN
Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes Gameday Central

OPPONENT: Kansas State Wildcats
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats 2014
MEET THE PRESSBaylor vs. Kansas State
OFFICIAL WEBSITEkstatesports.com
MEDIA GUIDE2014 K-State Media Guide (click here for roster)
LAST MEETING:  35-25 BaylorODB Game Hub
LAST GAME (for K-State): K-State 51, Kansas 13
SB NATION BLOG: Bring On The Cats, at right
SPREAD: Baylor -8.5 (Open: Baylor -8.5) The line hasn't moved much, as it appears most bookmakers aren't laying odds on this game because of Bryce Petty's status.
TV COVERAGE: ESPN, 6:45 p.m. CST
WEATHER FORECAST: Cloudy, high of 66° with a 10% chance of rain (Wunderground puts temp at 62° and 9% of rain at game time) 
BAYLOR UNIFORMS: UNKNOWN at this time.

SB Nation Kansas State Preview
BaylorBears.com Preview
Bears vs Wildcats coverage

#GetUpForGameDay

We now have a location for where College GameDay will be: the South Plaza area at McLane Stadium, located at the base of the Umphrey Bridge. That's stadium-side, adjacent to the Robert Griffin III statue. If you're a student, you need to be there. Take a break from studying for a few hours... Oh who are we kidding. Take a break from sleep for a few hours, make a clever sign, and get over there for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. GameDay may come back, but it'll never be the first time that it comes to our city (see what I did there).

If you've got potential GameDay sign ideas, add them to the comments to this FanPost! Mark, Prashanth and I will be doing a live podcast on Thursday night and we'll take some time to talk about the best ones!

Now then, let's look at the Kansas State SnyderWildcats , shall we?

Kansas State 2014 Schedule/Results

August
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks Saturday, August 30 2014 win 55-16 coverage
September
@ Iowa St. Cyclones Saturday, September 06 2014 win 32-28 coverage
Auburn Tigers Thursday, September 18 2014 loss 14-20 coverage
Texas-El Paso Miners Saturday, September 27 2014 win 58-28 coverage
October
Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday, October 04 2014 win 45-13 coverage
@ Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, October 18 2014 win 31-30 coverage
Texas Longhorns Saturday, October 25 2014 win 23-0 coverage
November
Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday, November 01 2014 win 48-14 coverage
@ TCU Horned Frogs Saturday, November 08 2014 loss 20-41 coverage
@ West Virginia Mountaineers Thursday, November 20 2014 win 26-20 coverage
Kansas Jayhawks Saturday, November 29 2014 win 51-13 coverage
December
@ Baylor Bears Saturday, December 06 2014 7:45 PM EST coverage

Owing to the fact that conference record is the primary determination of the champion, Kansas State is playing for a share of the conference championship. One of their losses was handed to them by the Auburn Tigers at home in a game that the Wildcats should have won, but for some flukey turnovers and special teams play that makes our early struggles look stellar. Their second loss, of course, came against TCU in a game Baylor fans were hoping would have been closer than it ended up at the very least. Regardless, Kansas State is an incredibly strong team. Baylor can't expect the Snydercats to roll over and die just because Baylor's got a chance at a Playoff berth. The Bears will have to earn every point of this one.

K-State Individual Statistics

Quarterbacks

Passing
Rk Player Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
1 Jake Waters 209 322 64.9 2863 8.9 9.3 18 5 154.9
2 Joe Hubener 9 17 52.9 235 13.8 12.4 1 1 176.7
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 12/2/2014.

There's absolutely no mystery here. No question of which QB will start for K-State, no gamesmanship by The Wizard Bill Snyder. Jake Waters is the guy in the Little Apple, and he's very, very good. Other than completion percentage (where Waters holds the edge) and touchdowns (Petty has 25), the numbers here are strikingly similar to Bryce Petty's own numbers. It's pretty uncanny, actually, how similar they are. Petty's thrown 15 more passes but completed 9 fewer than Waters but for 30 more yards total. Their yards/attempt and adjusted yards/attempt are almost identical, and they've both thrown the same number of interceptions. That being said, while Waters isn't your prototypical dual-threat quarterback, he's rushed the ball 119 times for 440 yards and 8 touchdowns, good for second on the team. He is a major threat in this game and the defense will be challenged.

Running Backs

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Rk Player Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
1 Charles Jones 111 476 4.3 12 6 55 9.2 1 117 531 4.5 13
2 Demarcus Robinson 101 410 4.1 4 8 69 8.6 1 109 479 4.4 5
3 Joe Hubener 27 142 5.3 3 27 142 5.3 3
4 Jarvis Leverett Jr. 20 67 3.4 0 20 67 3.4 0
5 Jesse Ertz 7 46 6.6 0 7 46 6.6 0
6 Glenn Gronkowski 3 9 3.0 0 4 92 23.0 1 7 101 14.4 1
7 Levi Morss 1 9 9.0 0 1 9 9.0 0
8 Adam Weber 1 4 4.0 0 1 4 4.0 0
9 Zach Nemechek 1 3 3.0 0 1 3 3.0 0
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 12/2/2014.

I went ahead and left Joe Hubener and Jesse Ertz in this table, despite the K-State official roster listing them as quarterbacks because they've accounted for a decent total of yards. What's interesting is that in recent years, the Snydercats have been known as a ball-control, grind-it-out type of team, but this season they don't have a rusher approaching 500 yards, much less the 1,000 mark. In fact, combine the totals of their three top rushers (Jones, Waters, Robinson), and they have exactly 200 more yards than Shock Linwood on the season. These numbers intrigue me, and I may have to take a look at the O-Line stats and break those down in the Advanced Stats post this week (if I'm the one to do that post, we'll see). One other thing: Yes, Glenn is part of THAT Gronkowski family. Snyder isn't afraid to make use of the fullback.

Wide Receivers

Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Rk Player Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
1 Tyler Lockett 2 13 6.5 0 79 1193 15.1 8 81 1206 14.9 8
2 Curry Sexton 67 940 14.0 5 67 940 14.0 5
3 Zach Trujillo 16 301 18.8 1 16 301 18.8 1
4 Kody Cook 14 186 13.3 1 14 186 13.3 1
5 Deante Burton 17 171 10.1 0 17 171 10.1 0
6 Judah Jones 2 24 12.0 0 3 41 13.7 0 5 65 13.0 0
7 Stanton Weber 1 21 21.0 0 1 21 21.0 0
8 Steven West 1 15 15.0 1 1 15 15.0 1
9 Andre Davis 2 14 7.0 0 2 14 7.0 0
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 12/2/2014.

In the passing game, Waters has two primary receivers: Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton. Put either Lockett or Sexton onto Baylor with their stats, and they're immediately the top receiver in terms of overall yardage. Those two guys are major threats. The third receiver in the offense is actually Zach Trujillo, their starting Tight End. They have five receivers in double digit catches, those five are the only ones in triple-digit yardage, also. Despite that, our cornerbacks are going to be very busy against Lockett and Sexton, who may just be as good a WR combo as the conference has. This is going to be a very interesting game.

2014 Wildcats Team Stats and Rankings

Statistic National
Rank
Conference
Rank
Value National Leader Value Conference
Leader
Value
3rd Down Conversion 18 1 0.465 Georgia Tech 0.574 Kansas St. 0.465
3rd Down Defense % 68 6 0.401 Virginia Tech 0.273 TCU 0.296
4th Down Conversion 45 3 0.545 Georgia 0.857 Baylor 0.758
4th Down Defense 25 4 0.385 Penn St. 0.188 Baylor 0.200
Blocked Kicks 18 2 3 4 teams tied 6 Oklahoma St. 6
Blocked Kicks Allowed 110 9 4 35 teams tied 0 Iowa St.
Texas Tech
Oklahoma St.
0
0
0
Blocked Punts 15 2 1 Tulsa
Temple
3
3
Oklahoma St. 2
Blocked Punts Allowed 116 10 2 85 teams tied 0 9 teams tied 0
Completion Percentage 16 2 0.643 Southern California 0.701 West Virginia 0.654
Defensive TDs Washington 7 TCU 4
Fewest Penalties 6 1 48 Navy 25 Kansas St. 48
Fewest Penalties/Game 13 1 4.36 Navy 2.27 Kansas St. 4.36
Fewest Penalty Yards 12 1 442 Navy 257 Kansas St. 442
Fewest Penalty YPG 18 1 40.18 Navy 23.36 Kansas St. 40.18
First Downs Defense 21 3 212 Wisconsin 160 TCU 195
First Downs Offense 82 7 240 Baylor 332 Baylor 332
Fumbles Lost 4 1 4 Missouri 2 Kansas St.
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St.
4
4
4
Fumbles Recovered 102 7 5 Temple
FIU
19
19
Baylor
TCU
13
13
Kickoff Return Defense 9 1 17.36 UConn 15.21 Kansas St. 17.36
Kickoff Returns 15 1 23.79 UAB 28.15 Kansas St. 23.79
Net Punting 105 10 34.49 Idaho 43.45 Baylor 41.07
Passes Had Intercepted 13 1 6 Oregon
Northern Ill.
Army
2
2
2
Baylor
Kansas St.
6
6
Passes Intercepted 23 3 14 Louisville 25 TCU 21
Passing Offense 22 5 281.6 Washington St. 477.7 Texas Tech 351.1
Passing Yards Allowed 56 2 220.8 San Jose St. 117.8 Texas 186.3
Passing YPC 18 2 14.21 Navy 18.19 Baylor 14.85
Punt Return Defense 113 9 12.56 TCU -1.13 TCU -1.13
Punt Returns 1 1 18.43 Kansas St. 18.43 Kansas St. 18.43
Red Zone Defense 28 2 0.767 Mississippi St. 0.600 Kansas 0.750
Red Zone Offense 22 2 0.891 Memphis 0.943 Oklahoma St. 0.914
Rushing Defense 19 4 120.2 Penn St. 84.8 Baylor 108.1
Rushing Offense 89 7 146.5 Navy 357.8 Oklahoma 265.4
Sacks Allowed 45 5 1.82 Oklahoma 0.55 Oklahoma 0.55
Scoring Defense 17 1 20.3 Ole Miss 13.8 Kansas St. 20.3
Scoring Offense 21 4 36.6 Baylor 49.8 Baylor 49.8
TFL Allowed 69 6 6.00 Cincinnati 3.18 Oklahoma 4.00
Team Passing Efficiency 12 1 156.03 Oregon 188.99 Kansas St. 156.03
Passing Efficiency Def 51 5 123.65 UCF 96.47 Texas 108.34
Team Sacks 70 7 2.00 Utah 4.33 Texas 3.25
Team Tackles for Loss 62 7 5.9 Clemson 10.2 TCU 8.4
Time of Possession 16 1 32:18 Michigan St. 35:14 Kansas St. 32:18
Total Defense 23 1 341.0 Clemson 259.6 Kansas St. 341.0
Total Offense 47 6 428.1 Baylor 581.1 Baylor 581.1
Turnover Margin 17 3 0.82 Michigan St. 1.67 TCU 1.64
Turnovers Gained 67 5 19 Louisiana Tech 36 TCU 34
Turnovers Lost 2 1 10 Oregon 8 Kansas St. 10
Winning Percentage 17 3 0.818 Florida St. 1.000 TCU
Baylor
0.909
0.909

It's Question Time!

  • FIRST: The guys over at Bring On The Cats are some great folks. What questions do you have that we could ask them to answer for you?
  • SECOND: How confident are you that Petty will be 100% for Saturday evening's game? If he's unable to go, how confident are you in Seth Russell leading the team on Saturday?
  • THIRD: How much K-State have you watched? Give me you impressions of their offense.
  • FOURTH: With GameDay coming to town, plus a second-straight Conference championship on the line, show me a gif that depicts just how turnt you are for this game. I want to see gifs.
  • FIFTH: What's your uniform prediction? You may have stated it in this post, but go ahead and give it to us again.