The Baylor Bears (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) stunned the college football world on Saturday night, knocking off the newly minted No. 1 team in the land Kansas State, 52-24. The national championship hopes of the Wildcats (10-1, 7-1) are now likely ruined, and Baylor's impressive performance may have also cost Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein a shot at the Heisman.
The impact of this game will be felt across the country for years. The National Championship race is completely different. The Heisman race is completely different. The entire scope of college football in the 2012 season is different. Because the 4-5 Baylor Bears shocked the world. Because the much-maligned Baylor defense shook itself off, planted its flag, and absolutely shut down one of the best quarterbacks and offenses in the country. The Heisman was lost tonight because Baylor made it so. I've never seen a Baylor team play like that, and they deserve tremendous credit for their performance. Gentlemen, you were outstanding.
Ecstatic might not even be a strong enough word. Euphoric might also apply. As the author of the post, Mark C. Moore, says at the top of his post, Saturday night's win was possibly the biggest victory in the history of the program.
Baylor had not beaten an opponent ranked as high since 1957, when the Bears defeated No. 2 Tennessee, 13-7, in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day. Baylor also tied No. 1 Texas during the 1941 season.
The Baylor Bears will attempt to close out a victory few expected after the break, as they enter halftime with a 28-17 advantage over the top-ranked Kansas State Wildcats.
The Bears took an early lead over the Wildcats, driving 82 yards on six plays following the opening kickoff. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence found wide receiver Tevin Reese for a 38-yard score. Florence accounted for most of the initial scoring drive, completing five passes for 71 yards.
Heisman hopeful Collin Klein and the Wildcats answered quickly, taking advantage of a short field to tie the game up at 7-all. Klein connected with wide receiver Torell Miller for an eight-yard touchdown pass.
Florence and the Bears came right back with another score, marching 75 yards in 11 plays. While the quarterback moved Baylor down the field using mostly his arm, his second touchdown came on a 12-yard run.
Baylor maintained their seven-point advantage before extending the lead half-way through the second quarter. Florence was once again responsible for the score, adding another passing touchdown to his impressive first half totals. This time he found wide receiver Terrance Williams for a 22-yard strike.
The Bears weren’t done, as they capped off another long drive with a touchdown before the half. This time is was running back Glasco Martin to account for the score on a two-yard touchdown run.
Klein and the Wildcats were able to cut into the lead prior to the break. Kansas State used a deep strike and pass interference penalty to get inside the red zone before Klein hit wide receiver Chris Harper for a seven-yard score.