James Terry caught three touchdowns from quarterback Ell Roberson as K-State improved to 7-3 and took a share of the Big 12 North lead with a 38-10 win over Baylor at KSU Stadium.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start, and Baylor actually held a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter, before the Kansas State finally buckled down. Ell Roberson drove an offense that sputtered early on 98 yards in 12 plays, taking up just 3:43, to put the Wildcats on top 14-10 going into locker room. His 14-yard touchdown toss marked the second time the two hooked up in the game.
Roberson finished 242 yards passing on 14-of-24, throwing all three of his touchdowns to Terry, as well as running for 79 yards and another score.
But that all came despite a sluggish start, in which the Wildcat offense failed to move the ball in the first quarter, netting just 21 yards of total offense. Coach Bill Snyder attested that to simply not being able to keep emotions in check.
"Nothing I could say would cover every player or coach in the program," Snyder said. "Sometimes they just get caught up in the emotion and can't function or do the things they have to do. I don't think enough of our players did, and you have to learn to handle it and react to things."
Baylor did plenty that forced the Cats to react, though. They bottled up running back Darren Sproles for most of the game, holding him to 30 yards on 17 carries until late in the fourth quarter.
"For most of the game we were able to contain Darren Sproles," Baylor coach Guy Morriss said. "Late in the game we wore down."
That allowed Sproles to break two long runs of 73 and 52 yards that gave Sproles 155 total yards rushing.
The Roberson to Terry connection, however, put the game out of reach well before those runs. The duo hooked up eight times for 138 yards and those three scores, one of which was a 39-yard reception that had Terry tight-roping the sideline as he sprinted past the outsider cornerback. But the most impressive, Snyder said, was Terry's first score. With Baylor leading 3-0, Roberson floated a ball to the short corner of the end zone which seemed to be out of play. Terry, however, stretched his 6-foot-5 frame for the catch, dragging both feet in the end zone, to put the Wildcats on top 7-3.
"I'm on the line on the sideline and I thought it was a gross overthrow," Snyder said, explaining the play. "It was just a great catch period."
If that didn't jump start Kansas State, the 39-yarder to open the second half did, spurring the Cats to 21 unanswered points to put the game well out of reach.
It wasn't just the offense that excelled, however. The Wildcat defense shut down Baylor quarterback Aaron Karas, who completed just 9-of-21 passes for 131 yards with an interception, as well as bottling up the Baylor ground attack. They gained just 67 yards on 42 carries for an average of 1.6 yards per attempt. Those numbers include seven sacks by the defense, including two by defensive end Andrew Shull.
"It felt good to get in the backfield again today," Shull said. "The interior guys did a great job. (The sacks) feel good -- it's like a home run in baseball."
While the final outcome doesn't much resemble a homerun, as the Wildcats fell well short of the 40-point spread some placed on the game, the Wildcats did win and, with a Nebraska loss to Texas, move into a first-place tie in the Big 12 North. But according to Snyder, that doesn't mean much -- yet.
"We have nothing to do with North lead," he said. "Nothing makes any difference but what we do."
Cats handle Baylor, 38-10
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