Know Your Opponent: Baylor to run similar offense to years’ past

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Head coach Chris Klieman leads his team out onto the field before the game against Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium on Sept. 29, 2019. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team returns home this weekend to play the Baylor Bears in Manhattan after two road games with a bye in between.

Last season, the Bears beat the Wildcats 37-34 on a last second field goal but struggled to contain former K-State running back Alex Barnes, who racked up 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.

This year’s offense for Baylor is very similar to that of years past. They spread defenses laterally and run the football. Three different players have recorded more than 100 rushing yards this season.

They have talent all over the field at skill positions that allow them to get multiple running backs and even receivers involved in the run game.

Returning starting junior quarterback Charlie Brewer complements this offensive philosophy with his ability to deliver quick, accurate strikes to his athletic receivers on the edges. Those short outside passes prevent a defense from keying in on the run and force them to defend the entire field.

Brewer can also deliver deep strikes if needed, but through four games this year his longest pass is 50 yards. He completes his passes at a 66 percent clip and has amassed 972 yards through the air and 10 touchdowns.

His best target is senior wide receiver Denzel Mims, who has pulled in a team leading five touchdown grabs and 355 total yards through four games.

Between the two facets of the offense, Baylor has found a very balanced attack, attempting 145 rushes to 133 passes and 921 rushing yards to 1,038 receiving yards.

On defense, the Bears are very similar to some looks Oklahoma State showed last week. They are a very good defense, allowing just over 16 points per game and just shy of 300 total yards a game.

They favor a three-man front and play three or even four linebackers against K-State’s run-first offense, as opposed to the two-linebacker sets they showed against more pass-happy offenses earlier this year.

Against Stephen F. Austin and UTSA, the Bears really got after the quarterback by bringing five or more players on blitzes on passing downs.

The ability to hound the quarterback comes from experience on the defense. Their starting defense features just one player who is not a junior or senior. Senior linebacker Clay Johnston leads the team with 37 tackles on the year. He also has 2.5 sacks.

The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and be broadcast live on ESPN2 and on the radio on the K-State Sports Radio Network.

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