BAYLOR VS. K-STATE PREVIEW: Opposites attract
Baylor hosts Kansas State on Saturday at 2:30 at McLane Stadium.
There's been a lot of noise this week about the NCAA lowering the "Lack of Institutional Control" boom on Baylor, which could come with a bowl ban. But it's unlikely we'll find out before Saturday about such a penalty and if the Bears are going to get bowl eligible this season, they really need to win this one.
Here are the particulars:
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Charlie Brewer completed 38 of 60 passes for 400 yards and 2 TDs in the loss to Oklahoma. Even when Jalan McClendon looked sharp in the season-opener against Abilene Christian, it seemed like Brewer might be the more savvy QB when conference play started. That certainly looked like the case against Oklahoma.
WR Jalen Hurd has been a fantastic weapon for the Baylor offense. He caught 9 passes for 104 yards against Oklahoma. Look for his production to keep going up as Big 12 play continues.
WR Denzel Mims has had career days against Oklahoma the last two seasons. Combined, he now has 22 catches for 306 yards and 4 TDs against the Sooners. It would be a good idea to tell Mims he’s playing Oklahoma every week.
DE Greg Roberts had a couple of highlights on an otherwise long day for the Bears defense. Roberts posted a pair of sacks for 15 yards in losses, bringing his season totals to 14 tackles and 3 sacks.
SERIES HISTORY: Kansas State leads the all-time series against Baylor, 9-6. The Wildcats have beaten the Bears the last two seasons by more than double digits each time.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We need to be better on defense. (Defensive coordinator Phil Snow) and I both feel that way. I thought against Kansas we played well defensively and against a top five team (Oklahoma) you have to step up and make plays. Football is a game of making plays and OU made a lot of great plays on Saturday.” – Baylor coach Matt Rhule on the progress of the Bears’ defense.
KEY MATCHUP: Baylor QB Charlie Brewer vs. Kansas State secondary. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger completed 29 of 36 passes against the Kansas State defense, but the Wildcats didn’t let the Longhorns get away too often. Kansas State held Texas to 228 passing yards and no passing plays of longer than 21 yards. By contrast, Baylor has thrived on making long plays in the passing game in its wins this season. Whether or not Brewer can beat the Wildcats deep could determine the outcome of this Big 12 game.
--RB John Lovett left the Oklahoma game with a head injury and is in the concussion protocol. Rhule said as of Monday he didn’t know if Lovett will be available against Kansas State this week.
--LG Xavier Newman suffered a high ankle sprain in the win over Kansas. He missed the Oklahoma game and is questionable this week versus Kansas State.
--WR Tony Nicholson asked for and was granted his release from the program last week. Nicholson didn’t have a catch through three games and was limited to three punt returns for 34 yards.
--LT Josh Malin was helped off the field versus Abilene Christian with a knee injury. Mallin has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will miss at least four weeks. Rhule said he hopes to get Mallin back in practice in the next couple of weeks.