The last time the Bears played the Wildcats in Manhattan in 2017, the latter won 33-20 and Baylor would only win one game the entire season. 2017 was so tumultuous that I even stopped writing game recaps because it was too depressing to rehash the same results for 12 weeks straight. Thankfully only two years later, the Baylor vs. Kansas state game ended with a 31-12 victory for the Bears, keeping them undefeated 5-0, 2-0 and only one game away from being bowl eligible. The Bears found more consistency and rhythm on offense this week as opposed to their nightmarish Rice and Iowa State games that saw ridiculously stressful endings. Junior QB Charlie Brewer completed 14 of 23 passing attempts for 230 yards and 1 TD and redshirt freshman QB Gerry Bohanon completed 1 of 1 passing attempts for 38 yards. The Bears had didn’t record a turnover and finished with 426 yards, but still had several penalties– 7 for 52 yards.
Both teams traded back and forth punts throughout the entirety of the first quarter until the Wildcats added their inaugural score on a field goal to the board with 2 minutes left. When the Bears got the ball back at the end of the quarter, junior RBs Trestan Ebner and John Lovett added rushes of 4 and 8 yards before Brewer connected with senior WR Denzel Mims on a 27-yard pass. Ebner rushed for 2 yards and caught a 1-yard pass to set up redshirt freshman K John Mayers’ 36-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 at the start of the second quarter. The Wildcats used their momentum in their next drive, but were forced to punt after junior DT James Lynch and senior DE James Lockart combined for a sack with a loss of 3 yards. On the next Baylor series, sophomore WR Tyquan Thornton caught an 11-yard pass and senior RB JaMycal Hasty ran for 33 yards before Thornton caught passes of 27 yards and 29 yards for the first Baylor touchdown. Junior LB Jalen Pitre stalled the next Wildcats series with a sack for a loss of 5 yards, but both teams were forced to punt on their drives until the third quarter.
On the Baylor offense’s first drive of the second half, Mims caught a 25-yard pass and sophomore WR R.J. Sneed grabbed a 14-yarder before Thornton and senior WR Chris Platt snagged passes of 25 and 12 yards, collecting more yards for Lovett’s 13-yard rushing TD. J. Lynch sacked Kansas State QB Skyler Thompson, forcing a fumble that was recovered by sophomore S JT Woods, but Baylor couldn’t capitalize on the field position and had to punt the ball away after a three and out. The Wildcats notched their second score on a field goal to close the third quarter 17-6 Baylor.
When Kansas State’s offense got the ball, J. Lynch notched another sack, this time for a loss of 6 yards and junior CB Grayland Arnold secured an interception, which he returned for 17 yards. Hasty rushed for 40 yards on 3 carries and Mims caught a 27-yard pass, but Brewer went down hard on the play and Bohanon went in at 3 and 22. On Bohanon’s first snap, he hit Sneed for 38 yards and then ran in a 4-yard score. Arnold recorded his first sack on the Wildcats’ following drive, but Kansas State scored before failing on their 2 point conversion, leaving the Bears up 24-12. Hasty recovered a Bohanon fumble on the first play of Baylor’s offensive drive and Lovett finished the series with a 46-yard rushing TD to close the Bears’ scoring within 45 seconds. J. Lynch and senior DT Bravvion Roy combined for a sack to finish the game and secure Baylor’s victory!
Six Baylor athletes saw rushing attempts, including Hasty (8 carries for 87 yards), Lovett (7 carries for 74 yards and 2 TDs), Ebner (9 carries for 16 yards), Platt (1 carry for 2 yards), Bohanon (3 carries for 1 yard and 1 TD), and Brewer (3 carries for minus 22 yards). Six received passes including Thornton (4 catches for 92 yards and 1 TD), Mims (5 catches for 83 yards), Sneed (2 catches for 52 yards), Ebner (2 catches for 24 yards), Platt (1 catch for 12 yards), and Hasty (1 catch for 5 yards). Baylor’s defense amassed 68 tackles with 15 for a loss of 40 yards (senior LB Clay Johnston, senior LB Blake Lynch, Woods, Pitre, J. Lynch, Roy, junior S Jairon McVea, senior LB Jordan Williams, Arnold, Lockhart), 6 sacks for a loss of 24 yards (Pitre, Lynch, Roy, Arnold, Lockhart), 1 fumble recovery (Woods), 1 interception returned for 17 yards (Arnold), and 3 pass breakups (junior CB Raleigh Texada, sophomore LB Terrel Bernard, sophomore CB Kalon Barnes).
Baylor will face Texas Tech (and possibly become bowl eligible!) in Waco on Saturday at 3 p.m. (CT).