The K-State football team greatly contributed to their Big 12 Championship Game hopes, controlling the entirety of the 31-3 victory over the Baylor Bears.
The faceoff was highlighted by defense early on. The first quarter ended 0-0 and was highlighted by an interception from safety Kobe Savage. Savage suffered an injury later in the game, which head coach Chris Klieman said, “It doesn’t look good.”
After the misfire, K-State quarterback Adrian Martinez was injured on a quarterback sneak to gain a first down. Martinez would not return as backup quarterback Will Howard again would come into a situation to prove himself.
“It’s something we are going to talk about each week,” Klieman said, referring to whether Howard or Martinez will start at quarterback moving forward.
Howard took advantage of the opportunity, leading the offense to a score on three drives in the first half. The Wildcats led after the first half 17-3 with the defense playing at a near shutdown level.
The second half continued similarly to the first. The Bears were unable to score after their last-second field goal in the second quarter, finishing with 3 points. The Wildcats would score twice more, scoring 14 points in the half.
The second half featured a highlight play from tight end Ben Sinnott on a back shoulder pass from Howard for a 19-yard touchdown. Sinnott caught one of Howard’s three touchdowns on the night.
Howard did not need to throw much after the first half with the huge early lead. Howard threw for 196 yards, with 89 yards and two touchdowns to Sinnott on a 70.4% completion. Running backs Deuce Vaughn and DJ Giddens ran for a combined 164 yards on 38 carries.
The Bears only gained 306 total yards as quarterback Blake Shapen threw for 203 yards and gave away two interceptions.
“It was a dominant performance,” Klieman said. “I don’t know what to say about this group. They’re a resilient bunch.”
K-State moves closer to an appearance in Arlington, Texas with a 7-3 record and a 5-2 Big 12 record. The Wildcats own sole possession of second place in the Big 12 after Texas fell to TCU 17-10. Their matchup comes against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Nov. 19 in Morgantown, West Virginia.