Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas
Radio: KKGQ (92.3 FM) in Wichita, KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City
The line: Kansas State by 1 1/2
This isn’t a must-win game for K-State, but it’s arguably the biggest swing game on the schedule.
A victory over the Bears would move the Wildcats to 4-1, give them their first league win of the season and validate their nonconference success. A defeat would drop them to 3-2 and raise questions about their ability to compete in the Big 12 with TCU and Oklahoma up next.
K-State has what it takes to bounce back from its 26-13 loss against Oklahoma State, as the Wildcats are slim favorites over the Bears. But it won’t be easy. Charlie Brewer is one of the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks. He has thrown for 972 yards and 10 touchdowns this season without an interception. Baylor’s defense is as also strong and hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in a game this year.
A fast start will be of the utmost importance for K-State. The Wildcats are at their best when they establish their running game and play from ahead. They fell behind early against Oklahoma State and struggled mightily on offense trying to play catch up by throwing the ball.
Skylar Thompson is coming off the worst game of his junior year, but K-State’s offensive line and receivers also struggled. Here’s guessing they will all be motivated to bounce back at home against Baylor. Offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham should also mix things up and create more opportunities for them with more creative schemes. The Bears are one of two remaining undefeated teams in the Big 12, but they haven’t won a road game against a Big 12 opponent other than Kansas since Matt Rhule took over as coach in 2017.
Motivation and home field should help K-State win a close one on Saturday.
Kansas State 27, Baylor 24.