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Big 12 football notebook: Bill Snyder's not-so-secret to beating Baylor

Snyder: “We were truly focused on being able to defend well against the run.”
by Erik Horne Published: November 18, 2013


photo - Kansas State coach Bill Snyder takes off his headset to check on an injured player during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Baylor defeated Kansas State 35-25. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder takes off his headset to check on an injured player during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Baylor defeated Kansas State 35-25. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

In nine games this season, only one team has kept Baylor under 40 points: Kansas State.

The Wildcats worked a relative miracle against the Bears in a 35-25 loss Oct. 12. Not only did they slow down Baylor's high-octane attack, but they kept the game within 10 points. No other team Baylor has faced has been within 29.

But K-State coach Bill Snyder said there's no real secret to his team's success against Baylor. Kansas State outrushed Baylor 327-114 in the loss.

“Part of it was the fact that offensively we ran the ball well,” said Snyder, who has Kansas State on a four-game winning streak since its loss to Baylor. “It was just a matter of trying to play sound; we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. More than anything else, (it was) being where we're supposed to be.

“We were truly focused on being able to defend well against the run. They run the ball awfully well. We felt it was very significant for us to defend reasonably well against the run.”

Snyder said Kansas State will face a similar challenge against Oklahoma and its deep group of running backs.

“They've got a stable of backs and run the ball extremely well,” Snyder said. “They really got some big plays in the running game.”

KANSAS ON THE BOARD WITH LONG-AWAITED BIG 12 WIN

Charlie Weis and Kansas snapped a 27-game Big 12 losing streak with a 31-19 win over West Virginia on Saturday.

Weis said at 1-6 in conference play he's keeping things in perspective, but he didn't dare downplay the significance of the win mentally.

“It was a big psychological lift for our players, for our program,” Weis said. “You learn a long time ago, you can't have too many emotional lows and highs in this business. After getting that out of the way, you're uplifted right along with everyone else.”

Kansas has another winnable game this weekend against Iowa State, which is winless in the Big 12 (0-7).

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he's pleased with the Cyclones' development despite the injuries and youth. ISU has started eight different offensive lines in nine games.

“Nobody in America has done that,” Rhoads said. “They've improved as a unit. I think our defense has improved; I'm encouraged by the entire defense's progress.”

MACK BROWN NOT COUNTING OUT LONGHORNS

Texas suffered its first loss in conference play to OSU on Saturday, but still-on-the-hot-seat coach Mack Brown isn't counting the Longhorns out of the Big 12 race just yet.

The Longhorns are off this week before finishing the season with Texas Tech and Baylor.

“It's unique that we don't have a championship game, but anyone can beat anybody in this league,” Brown said. “I said earlier in the season, I did think that the champion will have a loss.”

That's where Texas stands, along with Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys have the tiebreaker advantage after throttling the Longhorns 38-13.

Brown said this year's team doesn't have the margin of error of previous teams he's had, particularly with season-ending injuries to key players such as running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley. The margin of error is zero now with Baylor still unbeaten headed into Stillwater this weekend.

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by Erik Horne
Online Sports Editor
Erik Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep...
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