K-State Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears: Football Game Analysis, Ratings

It was arguably Kansas State’s most impressive win of the season.

Baylor was playing its best football of the year and the Bears were riding a three-game winning streak going into Saturday’s game, but they were no match for the Wildcats in a 31-3 blowout that never came close after the first quarter.

K-State (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) also outscored Oklahoma State, 48-0, and made Missouri look like an FCS team earlier this year, but the Cowboys faced a myriad injuries and the Tigers had to play the Wildcats in the middle of a thunderstorm. Both of these games were also at home.

There were no such qualifiers to explain this result. K-State was downright better than Baylor, and it showed in every phase of the game. Because of this, the Wildcats now control their own destiny in the race for the Big 12 Championship and the Bears are not.

Let’s take a look back at Saturday’s action and hand out some awards and notes, as well as next week’s game against West Virginia.

Game of the game

Will Howard found K-State tight end Ben Sinnott with a great second-quarter touchdown pass that only a handful of quarterbacks in the country could have thrown.

Sinnott appeared to be triple covered in the end zone. Baylor defenders surrounded him from all directions, but there was a small window between them and Howard impressively squeezed the ball in for six points.

game player

Ben Sinnot. It was a tough decision between Deuce Vaughn, Howard and Sinnott. They all played well against the Bears. But the K-State tight end gets the nod because he delivered the most highlights.

He caught seven passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

Some thought the Wildcats weren’t going to have a versatile tight end who could stretch the field as a wide receiver this season, but Sinnott is doing just that. Lately, he’s been playing as an All-Big 12 contender.

His first touchdown was a thing of beauty. His second score was pure athleticism, when he beat a Baylor defender by pointing the ball like Randy Moss.

Game statistics

How about 103? Like the Bears, they only rushed for 103 yards.

K-State limited Baylor’s rushing offense in a way other Big 12 teams haven’t this season. The Bears have rushed for over 200 yards in each of their last three games and then hit a brick wall against K-State’s defensive front.

Quote to note

“It’s a big win because I know how hard it is to win here. I have so much respect for Dave Aranda. He’s one of my favorite coaches. He does things right. way. We try to emulate a lot of the things they do, honestly. -Chris Klieman.

Kansas State Football Ratings

Offense: A+. Will Howard again played like an All-American, throwing for 196 yards and three touchdowns. Ben Sinnott had the best game of his college career on tight end. Deuce Vaughn did what he wanted on his way to 156 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats finished with 31 points and 405 yards. Howard seems like the obvious choice to start at quarterback going forward. He plays at a higher level than Adrian Martinez.

Defense: A+. It was a K-State defense masterpiece. Baylor only had three points and 306 yards. Austin Moore led the way with eight tackles and Daniel Green looked like himself while making six tackles. After dealing with injuries, he said he is now fully healthy. Would you believe this was the fourth time K-State held an opponent without a touchdown this season?

Special Teams: A. Ty Zentner connected on his only field goal attempt and also did some great things as a punter and kickoff specialist.

Framing: A+. On paper, it looked like Baylor had advantages over K-State in this game, but none of them showed up on the court. The Wildcats were ready to go from the get-go on defense and were humming on offense with Howard in the game. It was a massive turnaround from last week’s home loss to Texas.


K-State will be back in action at 1 p.m. next Saturday against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

The Wildcats should be favored in this game, but it won’t be an easy trip for them.

West Virginia (4-6, 2-5) has struggled a long way away from Puskar Stadium in Milan this season, going 1-4 without a single road win in conference play. But Neal Brown’s side were hard to beat at home. The Mountaineers are 3-2 at home with wins over Baylor and Oklahoma.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 23-20 win over the Sooners in which they rallied from a late deficit and won on a last minute field goal.

West Virginia has been a tough place to play for K-State lately. He hasn’t beaten the Mountaineers on the road since 2014.

This story was originally published November 13, 2022 11:51 a.m.

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Kellis Robinett covers Kansas State athletics for The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star. The winner of more than a dozen national writing awards, he lives in Manhattan with his wife and four children.

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