K-State looks to get back on track against Baylor

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Junior linebacker Elijah Lee looks toward the field during the football game between K-State and Oklahoma State in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Nov. 5, 2016. (File Photo by Emily Starkey | The Collegian)

The last time Kansas State defeated Baylor was when Arthur Brown and Collin Klein donned K-State jerseys. Brown intercepted eventual Heisman winner Robert Griffin III late in the game leading to a go-ahead field goal for the Wildcats, who eventually won 36-35. That was in 2011.

Fast forward five years and the Wildcats have yet to beat the Bears since. There has been a close game, a few not so close and one absolute heartbreaker in 2012 for K-State.

The Wildcats are ready to reverse their losing trend against the Bears.

“It’s Baylor, we want to get after them,” senior linebacker Charmeachealle Moore said. “Since I’ve been here we haven’t been able to beat them.”

Senior linebacker Elijah Lee echoed Moore’s sentiments.

“You want to go down there and get a road win,” Lee said, “because that is something we haven’t done.”

K-State will be looking to get its sixth win to become bowl eligible and to get one win closer to 200 for head coach Bill Snyder, as a win would put Snyder at 199.

The Wildcats certainly have a few positives on their side as they head to Waco, Texas. First off the Wildcats will have the advantage of facing a true freshman quarterback making his first start. Senior quarterback Seth Russell fractured his ankle against Oklahoma and will miss the rest of the season, leaving the reins of Baylor’s offense to Zach Smith.

Smith has thrown for 272 yards and two touchdowns this season as a backup. Of course facing a young quarterback doesn’t mean K-State will get an easy win. A year ago then-true freshman Jarret Stidham made his first career start and threw all over the Wildcats in the Bears’ 31-24 win.

Snyder said he thinks Smith is a capable quarterback.

“He is a good, young guy,” Snyder said. “I like the poise in which he seemed to handle himself, thrust into the situation he was in this past week. In the previous ballgames, it was substantial leads that put him on the field and he handled those fine, but under the pressure that existed in that ballgame, I thought he was as collected as anybody you can imagine.”

Another thing going for K-State is that Baylor’s season seems to be in a tailspin. The Bears started out the season with six straight wins but have lost three straight games since, the last two losses being blowouts.

Despite recent struggles, the Bears are still No. 5 in total offense in the nation and will pose a big threat to a defense that has struggled recently.

“Well I think, first and foremost, they have a great deal of talent,” Snyder said. “If you look across the board on either side of the ball, they have some young guys that are very prominent players … I cannot address the reasons behind the three losses; there is a lot of dialogue about that, but they have good players that can set them apart one way or the other.”

The Wildcats and Bears will kick off in McLane Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday. The game can be watched on ESPN2.

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