A Big 12 matchup between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Baylor Bears will take place Saturday night at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. The public is certainly siding with the Bears early on as Baylor is favored by 5.5 points, up from five points at the opening , while the total stands at 46 points, which is down from 47.5 points.
Each of these teams enter the contest seeking to halt current losing streaks as Kansas State has not picked up a win since October 24th when they were able to take out the Kansas Jayhawks at home by a 55-14 score. Since, Kansas State has dropped three straight games, including being on the losing end of a 45-0 shellacking on the road versus the Iowa State Cyclones in their last matchup. And while the Wildcats are 1-2 ATS in their last three games, Kansas state has covered the spread in five of eight games in 2020. Baylor enters this contest losers of five straight games after they lost a one-point heartbreaker on the road versus Texas Tech November 14th . The Bears not only dropped their contest versus the Red Raiders as one point favorites, but have gone just 2-3-1 against the number this season.
Nonetheless, Baylor seeks to win its third straight game (outright) versus the Wildcats , including five of their last six at home . However, despite the Bears having success straight up versus Kansas State in recent matchups, it should be mentioned that Kansas State has covered the spread in three of their last five games on the road versus Baylor, including two straight at McLane Stadium.
K-State continues to struggleThe offense for Kansas State is putting up just over 25 points per game in 2020 ; However, they have simply not been able to consistently move the ball during this time as they are averaging under 200 yards passing in addition to 124 yards on the ground. Freshman quarterback Will Howard took over for Skylar Thompson under center after he was lost for the season with a shoulder injury in early October and has certainly gone through some growing pains as he is completing just 50% of his passes for 916 yards along with five touchdowns in addition to a total of six interceptions. In fact, Howard has passed for around 350 yards in his last three outings while posting two touchdowns alongside five interceptions.
Furthermore, the quarterback completed a tad over 40% of his passes during this time. On the other hand, Howard has proven himself to be a dual-threat quarterback throughout the year as he is averaging just under five yards per carry while also posting two touchdowns.
Howard has combined with Deuce Vaughn throughout the season in racking up yards on the ground as he enters his contest as the leading rusher with 795 yards along with five touchdowns. Nonetheless, in the last three outings, Vaughn has put up just 106 yards with no touchdowns. To show how bad it has gotten for the Wildcats offense, the running back not only leads the team in rushing, but also in receiving yards with 370 yards on the season with a receiving TD. To make matters worse, tight end Samuel Wheeler was lost earlier in the month with an undisclosed injury.
They now enter this contest versus a Baylor defense that has been horrible in stopping the run in giving up 172 yards on the ground . However, it should be mentioned that Baylor is coming off an outing versus Texas Tech where they allowed just 124 yards on the ground, which is considered an improvement. Still, despite rushing for just 123 yards in their last matchup versus the Bears, Kansas State has rushed for 200 yards or more in three of the previous four outings versus their conference foe.
While defensive end Wyatt Hubert leads the defense with 5.5 sacks on the year along with two forced fumbles, Kansas State has struggled in every way in 2020 in allowing 28 points per game, including a tad less than 260 yards passing along with 170 yards on the ground to opponents. On the other hand, the Wildcats’ defense has six turnovers on the season; Nonetheless, were fruitless in this area versus a solid Iowa State Cyclones squad that not only passed for 300 yards, but destroyed them up front in racking up 240 yards in the last time out. The unit will now face a Baylor offense that has been very streaky throughout the year, nonetheless has posted some huge numbers in the last two matchups versus the Wildcats’ defense, including racking up close to a thousand yards in their last two matchups.
Baylor desperately seeking winLike Kansas State, the Baylor Bears are averaging around 27 points per game; However, their struggles have not only come on the ground, where they are averaging just 108 yards per outing, but also within their passing game as Charlie Brewer and company have only been able to accumulate a total of 214 yards per game. Brewer has struggled in the pocket for Baylor in his last three outings, in particular, as he has completed around 55% of his passes during this time while posting five touchdowns along with four interceptions. In fact, Brewer went 17 - 26 for 153 yards along with a pick versus Texas Tech . Nonetheless, expect Brewer and his playmakers on the outside to take some shots in this contest versus a pass secondary for Kansas State that has also struggled.
Receivers RJ Sneed along with Gavin Holmes have been the most popular targets for Brewer in 2020 as Sneed has racked up 349 yards along with two touchdown passes while Holmes has 177 yards along with a touchdown. The two combined for eight catches for just over 100 yards versus Texas Tech while neither has had a hundred yard receiving contest thus far. Furthermore, the receiving core may be shorthanded for this contest as tight end Ben Simms , who has three touchdown catches on the year, is questionable with an undisclosed injury.
To make matters worse for Baylor, their second leading rusher on the year Jon Lovett has been dealing with an undisclosed injury, yet is probable to play in this contest. Also, running back Craig Williams , who has not played since November 7th, is out for the year due to a knee injury. Despite this, the Bears, if they are able to dominate within the trenches, can certainly make this game interesting as the Wildcats have not proven that they can consistently stop opposing rushing attacks. Important to note, however, that Baylor's rushing attack has accumulated a tad over 400 yards rushing on the ground versus Kansas State in their last two meetings .
The Bears have also struggled in stopping the run this season . Linebacker William Bradley King has certainly been active for the defense in accumulating 3.5 sacks along with a forced fumble ; Nonetheless, Baylor has struggled up front within the trenches as teams are posting an average of over 170 yards rushing versus their unit in 2020. On the other hand, the pass secondary has been very aggressive as safety Jalen Pitre leads the unit with 26 tackles on the year along with two interceptions. In fact, he posted an interception while Bradley -King recorded a sack for Baylor in their last matchup versus the Red Raiders. It should be mentioned that Pitre also recorded five tackles in addition to Bradley - King posting four in the contest.
In addition to this, linebackers Abram Smith along with Dylan Doyle continue to step up for the defense while safety Christian Morgan is an imposing figure in the defensive secondary at 6’1” in tall as he has recorded a total of 20 tackles. Despite this, Kansas State has been able to have success , particularly on the ground, versus the Bears in recent matchups , including posting 319 yards versus their conference foe in their last meeting at McLane stadium in 2018.
Stats & Trends
- No trends to report
- Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games in November
- Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six games on grass
While the Wildcats have gone 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games, overall, they have recorded a 2-2 record ATS in their last four games since the loss of Thompson at quarterback. In fact, Kansas State happens to be winless in their last two road games. Baylor, despite being horrible against the number entering this contest, has covered the spread in two of the last three games versus the Wildcats , including three of the last four at McLane Stadium. Again, each of these teams have struggled in 2020, however I have much more confidence in Brewer and the Baylor offense at this time than I do in a dismal Kansas State offense that possesses a struggling freshman under center. In all, I will certainly take the home team as I feel as though the Bears will certainly cover the number by at least a touchdown.