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Kansas State tries to beat Baylor at home for first time since 2017 season on Saturday

Will Howard
Posted at 1:57 PM, Nov 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-09 14:57:58-05

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State will try to beat Baylor at home for the first time in six years when the Wildcats face the Bears on Saturday.

The defending Big 12 champs lost 33-30 in overtime to Texas last week, which may have dashed any remaining chance to make it back-to-back conference titles.

Their three losses this season have been by a combined 14 points to teams ranked in the top 16 of the AP poll.

Baylor is coming off its own overtime loss to Houston and needs to win out to become bowl eligible. The Bears have only failed to qualify for a bowl game twice since 2010.

Baylor (3-6, 2-4 Big 12) at Kansas State (6-3, 4-2), 3 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Line: Kansas State by 20 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Tied 10-10.


Kansas State is in a logjam of five teams with 4-2 conference records and trails Texas and Oklahoma State by a game in the standings, which means its chances of playing for a second straight Big 12 title have basically evaporated. But the Wildcats can still land a spot in a high-profile bowl game by winning out to reach nine wins. As for Baylor, winning out is the only way embattled coach Dave Aranda's team can qualify for a bowl game. They have only missed out on a bowl game twice since 2010.


Baylor QB Blake Shapen against the Kansas State pass defense, which rebounded from a disastrous start in last week's 33-30 overtime loss to Texas by holding Longhorns QB Maalik Murphy to 248 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. Shapen has thrown interceptions in consecutive losses to Iowa State and Houston, and he has been sacked at least four times in three of his six games.


Baylor: CB Caden Jenkins picked off his third pass of the season last week against Houston, tying him for the FBS lead among freshmen. He also returned a fumbled for a touchdown in the Bears' comeback against UCF, when they scored 29 unanswered points in a 36-35 win.

Kansas State: QB Will Howard, who seemed on the verge of losing his job to freshman Avery Johnson, threw for 327 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in the loss to the Longhorns. But with first-and-goal from the Texas 6 in overtime, Howard was unable to get the Wildcats into the end zone for what would have been the winning touchdown.


Baylor is going for its third straight win over the Wildcats in Manhattan, Kansas. ... Kansas State snapped a four-game losing streak to Baylor with last year's 31-3 win in Wacos, Texas. ... The Bears have won both of their road games this season. ... Baylor leads the Big 12 and is second nationally in both penalties per game and penalty yardage. ... Shapen has 31 career TD passes, tied with J.J. Joe for eighth in program history. ... Kansas State is one of seven Power 5 teams to rank in the top 18 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. ... The Wildcats are averaging 204.6 yards rushing per game, which is 11th in the FBS. ... Kansas State is fourth nationally with a 79.5% mark in red-zone touchdowns. ... Kansas State is allowing third-down conversions at a rate of 27.1%, which is fourth nationally and its best since 1999. ... Kansas State's three losses have been by a combined 14 points and all to teams ranked in the top 16. ... The Wildcats have scored at least 38 points in eight of their last 11 regular-season games dating to last season.