There is a line in the movie Wizards of Oz: “There is no place like home, there is no place like home…” That has proven true for the Kansas State Wildcat football team who will travel to Baylor with a share of the Big 12 Championship on the line.
The Wildcats has had a rough go of it on the road the last two times out. On Nov. 8, K-State got manhandled by the high-flying offense of TCU in a 41-20 loss.
Twelve days later, the Wildcats escaped Morgantown and West Virgina with a 26-20 win after rushing for a whopping one yard on 29 attempts.
Thank goodness for a career day from senior quarterback Jake Waters, who threw for 400 yards to keep the K-State Big 12 title hopes alive.
Then cross-state rival Kansas came limping into Bill Snyder Family Stadium to promptly get blistered 51-13.
Last’s week home win against the Jayhawks maybe just what the Wildcats needed to get the team rolling again heading into the final regular season game.
K-State has outscored opponents 122-27 since the 23-0 win over Texas in Manhattan on Oct. 25.
K-State sits in the No. 9 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings that were released on Tuesday. So even with a win Saturday, it’s nearly impossible for the Wildcats to leap five spots and make the playoffs, but, with a share of the conference championship on the line, there is still a lot to play for.
Now, back to the Baylor Bears.
The Bears scored on plays of 93, 72 and 53 yards last week against Texas Tech, which should concern coach Bill Snyder seeing how the Wildcats were picked apart by TCU’s offense.
Baylor ranks top nationally in total offense (581.1 yards per game) and scoring (49.8 points per game) and 10th in rushing defense,which means K-State will have to rely on its passing game to move the ball.
The Wildcats are 7-4 all time against the Bears and 2-2 in games played in Waco under Snyder.
In fact, Baylor has won three straight games in Waco against the Wildcats, and the Bears won last year’s match up 35-25 in Manhattan.
Even with the lack of recent success on the road this season, K-State has won on the road this season, including a 31-30 win over the Oklahoma Sooners.
Granted, Oklahoma is no Baylor or TCU this season offensively, but K-State will need to dig deep one more time to pull out the monster win.
The Wildcats must find a way to exploit the Bears defense like Texas Tech did at times last Saturday and find some way to slow down the fast-paced offense if they hope to pull off the win.
K-State and the the Bears are scheduled to kick off at 6:45 p.m. Central time Saturday on ESPN.