Baylor-Kansas St. Preview
Let everyone else be surprised by all the big numbers Baylor keeps putting up on offense.
The 15th-ranked Bears aren't.
Baylor goes on the road for the first time Saturday when it takes on a Kansas State team looking for its first Big 12 win.
"We just do what we're supposed to do, and do it with a lot of predictable outcomes," Bears coach Art Briles said. "We don't ever want to look at a play and say, 'Wow, I can't believe that happened.' ... We expect the outcome before the play ever happens."
Baylor, 4-0 for the first time since 1991 and with an eight-game winning streak, leads the nation with 779.5 total yards and 70.5 points a game. The Bears are outpacing No. 2 Oregon's point-a-minute offense that averages 630.4 yards and 59.2 points.
The Bears are the first FBS team with more than 700 total yards in three consecutive games or 3,000 yards in a four-game span since 1996, according to data available to STATS. Their 282 points are the most in a four-game span since 1980, and they are the only team with four consecutive games of 69 points or more.
After rolling over three overmatched nonconference teams, the Bears opened Big 12 play with their best offensive game yet last weekend. They set a league record with 864 total yards in a 73-42 victory over West Virginia, scoring the most points by a Big 12 team against another conference foe.
"I always feel that Baylor is a but team, and I say that because people say Baylor is good but; Baylor scores points, but; Baylor beat this team but," quarterback Bryce Petty said. "That's good, because it puts a chip on our shoulder. ... We know we're the best."
Briles said this team is still trying to create its own identity. He's not making comparisons to past teams, such as when the Bears had Robert Griffin III during a Heisman Trophy-winning season two years ago - or even record-setting Nick Florence last season.
"It's too early, we've played four games," Briles said. "You're not going to date somebody three times and say will you marry me. You've got to be around them awhile, and you've got to get to know them and see if it's really a match. I think we've still got to see where we are before we judge ourselves.
"I know we have energy. And I know we have some guys who are hungry and determined."
Petty threw for 347 yards with two touchdowns and his first interception against WVU, and all of that except a 5-yard pass came before halftime. The fourth-year junior, finally starting after backing up Griffin and Florence, is 67 of 92 (72.8 percent) for 1,348 yards and 10 TDs.
Lache Seastrunk is second among FBS running backs with 147.3 yards rushing per game after his eighth consecutive 100-yard effort. He had all 15 of his carries against West Virginia in the first half, when he had 172 yards and two TDs.
The Bears tied a team record with eight rushing touchdowns.
"We're all smiling right now," Petty said. "And we should be."
There isn't much joy in Manhattan after the Wildcats (2-3, 0-2) lost 33-29 at then-No. 21 Oklahoma State last Saturday. They turned the ball over five times and committed an uncharacteristic 12 penalties for 92 yards.
The defeat left the Wildcats, who went 11-2 and lost 35-17 to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl last year, without a Big 12 win after two games for the first time since 2004, before coach Bill Snyder hung up the headset for a brief retirement. Kansas State wound up finishing 4-7 that year, 2-6 in the conference.
"In our history, we have not been that kind of football team," Snyder said. "We haven't always been extremely good, but we haven't turned the ball over and we haven't gotten penalized and it has always given us a chance to win."
The Wildcats still had a chance to beat the Cowboys, taking a 29-23 lead early in the fourth quarter on a touchdown run by Daniel Sams, who appeared to finally supplant Jake Waters as their starting quarterback. But Oklahoma State answered with 10 straight points, and helped along by one of Sams' three interceptions - he also lost a fumble - to come away with the victory.
"All week we focused on discipline. Obviously, we came out here and didn't execute the way we wanted to and the way we talked about all week," fullback Glenn Gronkowski said. "We had way too many mental mistakes and we need to stick to our game plan to do better from now on."
Kansas State might have to face the high-powered Bears without its two top wide receivers. Tramaine Thompson didn't play against the Cowboys because of an undisclosed injury, and Tyler Lockett went down with a hamstring injury during the game.
"Those guys are such playmakers that it can affect the game," defensive end Ryan Mueller said. "But we have a lot of talent on this team. We're a young group that's talented. We're just going to have to step it up during this week's practice."
Kansas State was 10-0 last season and holding the No. 1 spot in the BCS standings before losing 52-24 at Baylor on Nov. 17. The Wildcats are 4-0 at home in the series.