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October 12, 2013For much of Saturday afternoon, Kansas State executed the gameplan it needed to in order to hang with high-flying No. 15 Baylor. The Wildcats dominated time of possession, ran the ball successfully and made a couple enormous plays on defense.
In the end, though, the same mistakes that plagued K-State in its first three losses reared their ugly heads again in a 35-25 setback to the Bears.
The Wildcats (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) committed four penalties and one turnover, all of them at crucial moments, as the nation's top offense scored just enough to escape with its first ever win in Manhattan.
"I was pleased with the effort of our football team," K-State coach Bill Snyder said. "With one exception in the entirety of the ball game, I thought we played as hard as we have at any time this season."
K-State entered the game as 17-point underdogs to a team averaging more that 70 points and 750 yards per game. Most of the contest was played at the Wildcats' pace, as K-State rushed for 327 yards and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
The attack was led by quarterback Daniel Sams, who dazzled in the running game with 199 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries.
"I thought both (quarterbacks) played reasonably well in the ballgame or a little better than reasonably well," Snyder said.
K-State kept the game interesting from the opening kickoff as the Wildcats held Baylor to a 7-7 tie after one quarter. Entering the game, BU (5-0, 2-0) had scored at least 28 points in every first quarter this season.
"Considering who we were playing, I thought we played awfully well defensively," Snyder said. "We made four mistakes defensively in the first half of the ballgame, and they cost us 21 points."
The second of those mistakes was allowing Bears receiver Tevin Reese to get free for a 93-yard touchdown reception from Bryce Petty in the second quarter, giving BU a 14-7 lead. Baylor added a 72-yard touchdown pass to Antwan Goodley later in the quarter and led 21-10 at halftime. The drives were each less than a minute in length.
K-State played arguably its best football of the season in the third quarter.
The Wildcats outscored Baylor 15-0 in the frame on a pair of Sams touchdown runs and a Jack Cantele field goal, sandwiched around a blocked punt by Weston Hiebert and sack and fumble recovery from Ryan Mueller.
Mueller finished the game with seven tackles and a pair of sacks in addition to the recovery.
Sams' run at the end of the third quarter gave K-State its first lead of the game.
"At the end of the day, I'm not playing to see what kind of stats I have. I'm playing to win," Sams said.
Baylor retook the lead early in the fourth quarter and K-State's offense never quite regained the momentum it had earlier in the half. That's when the costly mistakes ultimately decided the game.
Cantele missed a 41-yard field goal that would have tied the contest with 6:49 left and Sams ended a potential game-tying drive in the final four minutes.
"I think, at the end of the day, it still boils down to mistakes," Snyder said.
Sams called the decision to throw the ball a "terrible mistake and awful decision." Baylor scored moments later to ice the contest.
John Hubert finished the game with 90 yards rushing on 15 carries. Petty totaled 342 yards through the air.
K-State has a bye next week before returning to action against West Virginia on Oct. 26.
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