K-State clinches bowl eligibility with 42-21 win over Baylor

Alex Barnes ran for 129 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's win over Baylor.

Raymond Carlin III / USA TODAY Sports

WACO, Texas -- Alex Barnes rushed for 120 of his 129 yards and all four touchdowns in the second half, and Kansas State doubled up Baylor 42-21 on Saturday.

The win was the first for the Wildcats (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) in Waco since 2002 and made them bowl eligible for the seventh straight season. Baylor (6-4, 3-4) dropped its fourth straight after a 6-0 start.

"You always have to finish," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "Sometimes we have, sometimes we haven't. You take two ballgames that have gone down to the wire, that shouldn't have, that go down to the last snap of the ballgame. You have a chance to win, can't finish it off. So (it was nice) to be able to do that."

Barnes scored three times in the third quarter, during which Kansas State had the ball for 11:37 and outgained Baylor 186-38. 

"I knew that we, as a unit would have a big day on the ground," Barnes said. "I didn't realize that it would be me specifically, but I knew we were going to get it done."

Jesse Ertz threw for 177 yards and ran for 46 more, including a 40-yarder on a fourth-down run in the second quarter that set up Kansas State's first score.

Baylor quarterback Zach Smith, threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. But he was intercepted three times in the second half, twice by Donnie Starks. Shock Linwood, Baylor's all-time leading rusher, added 110 yards on 24 carries.

"We just didn't go out there and execute like we had to," Smith said. "Kansas State came out and executed, and they played great football. We, offense or defense, didn't execute coming out for the second half. When you don't do that, you lose."

THE TAKEAWAY

Kansas State: The Wildcats continued their success on the ground, eclipsing the 200-yard mark for the fourth straight game with 237 on 51 attempts.

View from the sidelines: college football cheerleaders 2016.

Scott Sewell / USA TODAY Sports

Baylor: The downward spiral continues for the Bears, who were held below 30 points for the third straight game. Baylor also failed to score a rushing touchdown for the first time in 39 games, snapping the longest active streak among Power Five conference teams.

KEY NUMBERS

Kansas State: It was an uncharacteristically undisciplined first half with 80 yards in penalties and two turnovers, both of which resulted in Baylor touchdowns. The Wildcats cleaned the up in the second half with 5 penalty yards and no turnovers.

Baylor: This was the fourth time Baylor was held scoreless in the first quarter this season. That happened to the Bears three times in the previous four seasons.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for a rivalry game with Kansas next Saturday. A Wildcat win would give Bill Snyder 200 for his career, making him the 26th coach in FBS history to reach that plateau.

Baylor has no time to lick the wounds from its latest loss with a short week looming before a Friday tilt with Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.