Kansas State Mauls Baylor

Kansas State inducted their greatest quarterback in Kansas State history into their hall of fame today. Michael Bishop and Bill Snyder took the field as Bishop was honored for his contributions to the Wildcats legacy.  Will Howard and Coach Klein were not about to disappoint Bishop or Snyder on this momentous day.

The Wildcats came out with their purple hair on fire and quickly overwhelmed the Baylor Bears.  Still smarting from last week’s gut-wrenching loss to the Longhorns, the Wildcats desperately needed to bounce back.  Their first drive was a twelve play 81 yard masterpiece cap-stoned by 18 yard touchdown reception by DJ Giddens off a beautifully executed wheel route.  Unfortunately, the Wildcats gave us all a scare when they allowed Baylor to score in five plays, four of which were explosives for 15 yards or more.  With the game tied, we all wondered if this was going to be another Big 12 shoot out.

Once again, Will Howard led his team efficiently down the field, ending his second drive with a 14 yard pass to Ben Sinnott for a touchdown.  Baylor only had the ball for two plays the next possession.  Baylor quarterback, Blake Shappen was sacked by Cody Stufflebean for a five-yard loss.  Stufflebean forced a fumble on the sack, allowing Desmond Purnell to scoop and score for the KSU defense.  The score was now 21-7.  Then, the Wildcat defense managed to force a three and out giving the ball back to a motivated Wildcat offense.

Once again Howard marched his team down the field, ending the drive on a one-yard quarterback run, in the opening minute of the second quarter.  This drive was highlighted by a masterful parameter block by the Wildcat center breaking DJ Giddens open for 34-yard gain.  Hayden Gillum snapped the ball, pulled all the way out to the sideline and pummeled the Baylor’s safety leaving a wide-open lane for Giddens to get thru.  Two plays later, Howard smashes his way into the end-zone.

Kansas State offensive lineman Hayden Gillum (55) blocks for quarterback Will Howard (18) as he runs for a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Wildcat defense forced another three and out.  During Baylor’s punt, the punter fumbled the ball near their own goal line and a Wildcat secured the ball.  One play later, Howard finds Christian Moore for a 2-yard touchdown pass.  With 13:07 left to play in the second quarter, KSU was up 35 -7 and the game was effectively over.

The rest of the game featured a few exciting plays for the Wildcats.  Keenan Garber’s pick six late in the third quarter to put the Wildcats up 51-19 was one such play.  However, the drive that impressed me the most, was Avery Johnson’s second drive after the Wildcats recovered yet another fumble.  At this point in the game, Coach Klieman rolled out his second and third team players.  During the third play of the drive, Johnson finds true freshman Garrett Oakley for a 28-yard touchdown pass for Kansas State’s final score of the game.  KSU’s two late scores shows the depth their squad has.  Wildcat fans have a lot to look forward to in the future.

Kansas State needs to win out to have a shot at another Big 12 title this year.  At this point, I think the Wildcats are focused on being the best versions of themselves.  Next week they travel to Lawrence for the Sunflower Showdown!

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