Baylor faced its first real adversity this season and still came out on top, using three Bryce Petty touchdown passes to hold off Kansas State, 35-25, on Saturday.
Petty's scoring strikes of 93 and 54 yards to Tevin Reese and 72 yards to Antwan Goodley, along with a 1-yard touchdown run from the redshirt junior, allowed the Bears to overcome several issues that must be corrected if they hope to break through and win the Big 12.
Dropped passes -- three by Goodley -- hindered the momentum of an offense that had scored 69 points or more in its other four games this season, while the defensive front struggled to stop the run.
The Wildcats rushed for 326 yards, with quarterback Daniel Sams accounting for 199 yards and three touchdowns, one of which was set up by a blocked punt. Looking every bit a Collin Klein clone, Sams would simply take the snap, wait a beat and follow his blockers in the power-running game that has been head coach Bill Snyder's trademark to revive the program in his second go-round in the Little Apple.
That's a game plan Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can replicate, while Texas' tandem of running backs Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown are more than capable of dishing out punishment.
But none of those teams have K-State linebacker Ryan Mueller, who had two sacks and showed the savvy to knock the ball out of a scrambling Petty's hand and recovered it, leading to the 'Cats' last touchdown of the afternoon. A 6-foot-2, 245-pound former walk-on, Mueller was also effective in limiting BU running back Lache Seastrunk to 54 yards on 12 carries.
Seastrunk had rushed for at least 111 yards in each of his previous eight games, a streak that started with an upset win over K-State last season. But Glasco Martin picked up the slack with 70 yards and a touchdown to put the game away and keep K-State from returning the favor.