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Baylor vs. Kansas State — GAME THREAD — How to Watch, Links, Notes

Baylor looks to get to 7-3 and win its fifth in a row against the Wildcats.

Kansas v Oklahoma Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

MATCHUP: Baylor Bears (6-3, 4-2) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (6-3, 4-2)
LOCATION: Waco, Texas
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats 2022
OURDAILYPODCAST: A Normal Speed Podcast (OU Review / KSU Preview)
OTHER PODCASTS: Please Bear With Me | Bear Den | Locked on Baylor | Between Two Bears | BearsIllustrated | SicEm365
ODB QUICK HITTER: Baylor vs. K-State.
ODB STATS PREVIEW: Baylor vs. K-State.
SPREAD: Baylor -2.5 (opened at Baylor -3.5 on Sunday), O/U 52.5

First, let’s talk about where I’ve been.

Some of you may know that two weeks ago yesterday, my wife fell on the stairs in our home and suffered a traumatic back injury that landed her in the hospital without complete (or much) use of her left leg and in severe pain. She has been amazingly strong and positive through her ordeal, which has been difficult to say the least. She moved from the hospital to a skilled-nursing facility on Wednesday of this week, and she will be there for at least a little while to do rehab in an observed environment.

Her being away has caused me to pick up all of the home and family stuff, which, combined with an increased workload actually at work, has soaked up basically all of my time from morning to night. It’s not an excuse for basically disappearing, but it is the reason. I’m going to try to put more time into the blog as we close out the football season, and I appreciate everyone’s patience so far. Also, the ODB team has been incredibly supportive and giving, as have our friends and family. We are truly blessed for the people we have around us.

Second, let’s talk about the Blackout.

Because of the considerations in the foregoing paragraphs, I haven’t been as plugged into the blackout talk this week as I would have otherwise been. It seems like the students started the whole thing, the University belatedly and begrudgingly acquiesced, and we’re now at a point where some fans will be wearing black, others won’t because they didn’t hear about it, don’t have black cold-weather Baylor gear, or just don’t want to, and the team itself will be wearing all green? This should be interesting to watch tonight.

Third, the weather.

It’s cold (for us) in Texas all of the sudden and for the first real time this season, and I mean cold. The current temperature in Waco is 54 but by the time the game starts it will be 48 falling into the high 30s by the time the game ends. If you’re going and not already there, bundle up! If you are already there, I hope you’re equipped for it! Apart from the temperature itself, the wind could make things weird, coming from the north at 12-15 mph with 20 mph gusts. That north wind tends to get into the stadium and swirl around, so kicking could be a bit of an adventure tonight.

Fourth, the game itself.

I took an abbreviated poll of our typical ODB contributor body today for their predictions, which are below:

There are a few things about this game that jump out at me from the stats. First and foremost, KSU is a good team, solid in every aspect, just as you would think from them. Look at the GameonPaper preview for this game—they have no real weaknesses. Sure, they’re not fantastic throwing the ball, but they’re not bad, either. They’re also not great against the run, but they’re not terrible. You can’t really point at any one thing and say “Yes, this is how we will beat them.”

If you want to be optimistic about Baylor, you would say that our offense has made significant strides and is now in the top 18 in total EPA, EPA/play, EPA/game, and Success Rate, which is huge. We are led by a rushing attack that is Top 10/11 in those stats except Success Rate, where we are 14th. This is really good stuff. Our defense has lagged somewhat, but it’s not completely awful, and it is also trending up after three-straight wins.

If you want to be slightly pessimistic, you would say that KSU’s defense is nearly as good as our offense. It’s actually kinda weird in that these teams appear to be photo negatives of each other; KSU is ok on offense and good on defense, while Baylor is good on offense and ok on defense. Although, it’s worth noting that comparison is not perfect when you look at F+, which loves KSU’s offense more than just EPA (see below in the Tweets).

The part that bothers me is although we have seen offensive improvement over the course of the season, we’ve yet to see that come through against a solid defense, nor have we seen a complete game on both sides against a quality team. OU, it should be apparent, is not very good. Texas Tech is probably worse than OU, but maybe not. WVU just beat OU, but is also not great. Kansas may actually be the best of that bunch, and that is a game that gives me some home, partly because Adrian Martinez and Jason Bean are somewhat similar players. But until we see that McLane Magic show up in a big game this year, and Baylor put together a complete performance against a good team, I just don’t have a good feeling that we will do it. Also, I’ve predicted* that we would lose each of the last three games, and we’ve won. So I’m riding with that.

My Prediction: KSU 31, Baylor 27.

We’ll keep this thread open as the Game Thread for today, so have fun!