WACO, Texas — David Garrett didn't have to say anything. By the time he exited Kansas State's locker room at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, his coach and teammates had already labeled their 47-42 defeat to Baylor a team loss.
There was plenty of blame to go around for this one, and no one felt like calling out a specific unit or individual.
But as the junior cornerback thought about all the big plays the Wildcats' surrendered earlier in the afternoon, and the reality of Baylor's astounding offensive production hit him, he couldn't hold back. K-State played well enough on offense to pick up a key road win, but its defense held the team back.
"How many times did they punt? Once or twice?" Garrett asked. "That was frustrating that we couldn't get off the field when we needed to and get the offense back the ball. Because they were ready to score every time they touched the ball."
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Coming into the game, 42 points certainly seemed like enough points to achieve victory. But they weren't sufficient against Baylor's staggering numbers.
By the time Baylor fans rushed the field to celebrate the Bears (6-2, 3-1 Big 12) becoming bowl eligible, they featured a 400-yard passer, a 250-yard rusher and a near school-record 683 yards of offense.
The Wildcats responded by moving the ball well themselves, but their six touchdowns and 407 yards weren't nearly enough. Not with their defense unable to keep up with Robert Griffin (404 passing yards and four touchdowns) Jay Finley (250 yards and two scores).
"We need to do a better job of being where we need to be," coach Bill Snyder said. "Obviously we have to defend the run and the pass better."
K-State tried several different defensive lineups and schemes, and certain players found success. Garrett recorded three tackles for loss and broke up two passes. Jarell Childs made 12 tackles. But nothing seemed to work well enough.
Aside from Raphael Guidry intercepting a tipped pass in the first quarter and the Wildcats jumping on a fortuitous Baylor fumble in the end zone following an 82-yard Finley run, K-State was no match for Baylor's explosive attack. The Bears punted twice —both coming in the fourth quarter while they enjoyed a 47-35 lead.
Snyder said the problem was that he didn't coach his players well enough leading up to the game. They weren't where they needed to be to come up with tackles, and Baylor's athletes took advantage.
But K-State players said they let their coach down.
"If there is something that the offense does, you break it down and you stop it. That's the bottom line," said defensive end Brandon Harold. "We need to find out what we need to do as a unit to come up with these wins from now on. I'm angry. Most definitely I'm angry. I'm tired of losing."
This loss means K-State (5-2, 2-2) will have to wait at least another week to qualify for a bowl game.
After sitting through a weather delay of nearly two hours during the game's opening drive, both teams took the field ready to score points.
The game was tied 21-21 midway through the second quarter, and it was obvious a shootout was taking place. But Baylor pulled away by halftime by scoring a touchdown and field goal to take a 31-21 lead.
Thanks to 231 passing yards from Carson Coffman and 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Daniel Thomas, the Wildcats never let the game get out of hand. They even had a chance to take a lead early in the third quarter following a 100-yard kickoff return by William Powell.
Garrett jumped on Finley's fumble, and K-State took over on its own 20-yard line trailing 34-28. But Baylor stuffed held Thomas on a third-and-short, and the Wildcats were forced to immediately punt.
"Offensively, I don't think we got the job done today," Coffman said. ".æ.æ. There were several opportunities where I felt like we could get the momentum back and get the game back in our hands."
That was one of them. And when K-State gave the ball back to Baylor its offense proved to be too much.
"We were inept at times when we needed to have success on both sides of the ball," Sndyer said.
Baylor scored mostly from long distances. Wide receiver Josh Gordon caught touchdown passes of 28 and 47 yards. Kendall Wright scored on passes from 52 and 30 yards away.
K-State had several highlight plays, too, including a 67-yard pass from Daniel Thomas to Aubrey Quarles. Normally such plays would be remembered fondly. But not when the opposition has more.