Keep Baylor’s offense off the field
At this point, it’s no secret that the Baylor Bears offense is one of the best, if not the best, in the entire country. The two-headed monster of quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk run an up-tempo, no-huddle offense that puts up 70.5 points per game while averaging 84.3 offensive plays per game.
It’s nearly impossible to completely stop the Baylor offense. So the best way to do so is to simply keep them off the field and control the time of possession.
“You need to sit on the ball and have a major amount of possession time but other things enter into it as well,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. “If we have the discipline not to have the turnovers and not to have the penalties, then that possession time would have won us the [Oklahoma State] ballgame.”
Limit penalties and turnovers
Last week against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Wildcats turned the ball over five times and committed 12 penalties. That’s uncharacteristic of a Bill Snyder-coached team, and something the Wildcats have to limit against the Bears.
“We have to be a more disciplined football team and that encompasses the penalties and the turnovers,” Snyder said. “It is just a matter of doing things the appropriate way. There is a way to prevent most turnovers, maybe not all, but most. There is a way to prevent penalties, maybe not all as true in this ballgame, but for the most part there is a way to do that and it takes a great deal of focus.”
The Bears have 10 takeaways in just four games this year, so the defense is sure to pounce on any mistakes the Wildcats make. That’s why K-State has to keep their mistakes to an absolute minimum against Baylor.
Rattle Daniel Sams and/or Jake Waters
Baylor’s pass rush is sure to play a huge role in Saturday’s game as they look to continue their run at a Big 12 title.
Sams and Waters have both failed to handle pressure in the backfield well this season, and it was particularly apparent against the Cowboys last week. Sams had three interceptions and a fumble, while Waters also fumbled the ball away.
The Bears rank seventh in the country in sacks per game at 3.5. So continuing to build on that trend will be huge for Baylor.
Get ahead early to take the crowd out of the game
Art Briles himself believes that Bill Snyder Family Stadium is one of the loudest places in college football.
“It’s a great environment as all are in the Big 12,” Briles said. “They’re all tough, including Floyd Casey. Anywhere you go on the road you’re in a different environment and I don’t know if tough is the right word — its just different.”
And with this week’s game being the first road game of the year for the Bears, the team has to be able to take an early lead in order to take the crowd out of equation.
“You just have to treat it the same as if it were a home game,” Baylor linebacker Eddie Lackey said. “You know you are going to get the different elements such as the crowd yelling which will be tougher for the offense in particular. It’s just another one of those things where you have to be emotionally flexible, and when we go out there we just have to keep playing the same way that we have been.”
If the Bears let the Wildcats hang around, the raucous crowd could force Baylor into a costly mistake late in the game.