Wildcats prepare to face Baylor Bears at home

Junior quarterback Joe Hubener takes off on a 34-yard touchdown run to cut the Bears' lead to 31-17 as redshirt freshman center Dalton Risner pushes Baylor safety Orion Stewart aside in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Nov. 5, 2015. (Archive photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team will host the Baylor Bears at home in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday. The Wildcats currently have a 2-1 record going into their fourth game of the season.

Last week, Baylor came close to beating the University of Oklahoma Sooners, a team currently ranked third in the country. The Bears finished the game 49-41, with Oklahoma narrowly taking the victory. Baylor is currently 0-4 this season.

During the Wildcats’ weekly press conference on Tuesday, head coach Bill Snyder talked about the latest practice sessions and how the players have been working together.

“In yesterday’s practice, collectively, it was probably the most spirited that we have been throughout the course of the year,” Snyder said. “I would like to think that if you love and care about the game, that you will get excited about playing. Getting into conference play brought some enthusiasm, as did getting off of a bye week.”

Coming back from their weekend off, the Wildcats have had plenty of time to prepare for their meeting with the Bears. This is their first game back in action since the heartbreaking loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores.

This is the first Big 12 conference game of the season for the Wildcats. During the last meeting between K-State and Baylor, the Wildcats traveled down to Waco, Texas, where they beat the Bears 42-21. Currently, neither K-State nor Baylor is ranked.

Coach Snyder spoke about the benefits of having the first Big 12 conference game at home this season.

“I want to play them all at home,” Snyder said. “At the end of the day, you are still going to have to play five [games] on the road, and it becomes important to understand how to deal with that. We have people who are good at what they do, and they can deal with it.”

Snyder also spoke about the differences between playing football at home and on the road.

“The difference here is you have a tremendous fan base that cares about and supports all these young guys,” Snyder said. “That is very meaningful to them. We had quite a turnout at Vanderbilt, but unfortunately we did not respond to that.”

Looking at Baylor’s recent performance, Snyder talked about the team as a whole and how the Wildcats will play against the Bears.

“There are some things we have to put more emphasis on based on their game against Oklahoma,” Snyder said. “They played with some personnel groupings and some formations that have not been as prevalent in the previous three games. We have worked on those things, but probably not to the same degree that we need to.”

Baylor is known for their pass-heavy offense. Baylor’s quarterback, sophomore Zach Smith, racked up 463 passing yards in the game against Oklahoma alone. Combining the Bears’ four games this season, Smith has a cumulative total of 742 passing yards.

By comparison, K-State’s quarterback, senior Jesse Ertz, has a total of 587 passing yards from the three games K-State has had this season.

The Wildcats’ fourth game of the season is set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. It will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

I'm DeAundra Allen, co-editor-in-chief and sports editor at the Collegian. I'm a junior in broadcast journalism and pre-law, with a minor in philosophy. I was born in Brighton, Colorado, home of La Placita and the Bulldogs. I moved to Kansas in 2010, and fell in love with press boxes at a young age. In my spare time, I talk about my pets, sports, and work towards going to law school.