Week 7 - Baylor at Kansas State

Posted Oct 9, 2013

Week 7 Fearless Predictions & Preview - Baylor at Kansas State

- Oklahoma vs. Texas
- Kansas at TCU & Iowa State at Texas Tech

Baylor (4-0) at Kansas State (2-3) Oct. 12 3:30, FOX

Why You Should Give A Hoot: What, exactly, does Baylor have to do to make you a believer?

The schedule hasn't exactly been brutal, but if it was so easy to hang 70 points a game, everyone would be doing it, and considering West Virginia held Oklahoma in check and beat Oklahoma State, the 73-42 win last week has to be a wake-up call.

Last year, Kansas State was in the position of the hot team everyone was watching. The Wildcats came into Waco 10-0 and with a spot in the BCS championship in its own hands, and it left with an ugly 52-24 loss. Baylor is better, Kansas State is worse, and while the stakes might not be higher – at least not at the moment – it's condition critical time for Bill Snyder's team after starting out 2-3 and coming off of losses to Texas and Oklahoma State on the road.

The schedule eases up a little bit with West Virginia and Iowa State coming to Manhattan, and this game kicks off a run of five home games in the next six, but it's going to take a special effort to hold down the nation's hottest team.

Baylor isn't even making this close. Over the past few seasons, the offense would rock and roll, but the defense would give up yards and points just as quickly. This year, 42 points against West Virginia aside, the D is holding up its end of the bargain allowing just 23 points in the first three games. Granted, Wofford, Buffalo and ULM weren't exactly going to be challenges, but it has still been a new Baylor. This is the first road test of the season, and Kansas State is desperate. With Iowa State and Kansas up next before dealing with Oklahoma, 5-0 will probably mean 7-0, and then things will really be interesting.

But Kansas State still has enough to rise up and come up with something stunning, just like BU did last year.

Why Baylor Might Win: How do you slow down the Baylor offense? No one has been able to do it so far, but generating a little pressure into the backfield might be nice. The Bears have only been sacked five times in the first four games, with the lack of big plays hitting the quarterback allowing all the big plays to be made down the field. Baylor has shown the ability to do a little of everything offensively, and QB Bryce Petty is able to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry when needed, but he's at his best when he allows his targets to get into space and move. BU scores fast, but Kansas State has to be able to hang on to the ball and control the clock to win. Unlike last season, the Wildcats don't own third downs, turnover margin or time of possession.

Why Kansas State Might Win: Power, power, power. No one has run the ball on Baylor because 1) no one on the schedule so far has a strong enough ground game, at least by BCS league standards, 2) the games have been getting out of hand so quickly that running attacks have been abandoned and 3) no one on the slate can blast away. Kansas State has the type of offensive line than can line up and start shoving, even if it was one of the only teams that couldn't run well on Texas and was held to 144 yards by Oklahoma State. For this to work, Kansas State has to go on long, sustained drives and control the ball and the clock, and that means it needs a huge performance from …

Who To Watch Out For: John Hubert, who has been a bit of a forgotten man lately. A 952-yard, 15 touchdown runner last year, he saw his production decrease dramatically over the second half of the season with only 100-yard running game since rumbling on Kansas over a year ago, October 6th. He's not the type who's going to barrel over anyone, but he needs a little space to move. If he ever had a 20+ carry workhorse game in him, this is it.

- Of all the ridiculous statistics and crazy things happening on the Baylor offense, the most insane is the play of Lache Seastrunk, who's running better than advertised averaging 11.11 yards per carry with 589 yards with eight touchdowns on 53 carries. Last year's game against the Wildcats wasn't his breakout moment, but it wasn't far off with 185 yards and a score.

- Everything has been working for the Bears in all phases, including special teams. Where's the problem? It's not too big a deal, but Baylor is one of the most penalized team in the nation committing an average of nine per game for over 90 yards.

- Baylor might have an awful overall Big 12 history, but it's been solid against Kansa State lately winning three of the last five matchups. However, the Wildcats won the previous five games starting with a 45-15 whomping in the 1969 season opener.

What Will Happen: Kansas State will slow things down – for about a quarter. The Wildcats will look like the Wildcats again with a few tough scoring drives, and then Baylor will get the offense ramped up on the way to a big scoring run. KSU won't get enough pressure on Bryce Petty, and the home runs will come.

Prediction: Baylor 52 … Kansas State 30
Line: Baylor -17.5 o/u: 80
Must See Rating: (5 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – 1 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding) … 3
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