Baylor is getting closer. But close just isn’t good enough for Matt Rhule.
Despite an emphatic fourth-quarter comeback, the Bears remained winless on the season after a 33-20 loss on the road against Kansas State on Saturday afternoon. They are 0-5 for the first time since 1978.
“I am extremely disappointed in today’s result,” the first-year head coach said. “For the fifth straight game, we had the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead. We had the snapped ball over the quarterback’s head and had a dropped punt. Those two huge miscues that put the game out of reach.”
Baylor went into the half trailing 20-3 but scored 10 straight to cut the lead to one possession. The Bears had a chance to tie in the third quarter, but a snap went over quarterback Zach Smith’s head and Kansas State recovered and scored on the ensuing drive.
Despite the Wildcats’ touchdown, Smith hit Denzel Mims with a 70-yard bomb and the Baylor defense held Kansas State to a field goal.
But placekicker Connor Martin, who entered the game when Drew Galitz was injured on the opening kickoff, dropped the snap to give the Wildcats another short field that would turn into another field goal.
“I thought the defense played a lot better,” Rhule said. “The biggest thing in the first half was we were not real physical and they were running through us. We challenged them at halftime to be the more physical team. I thought they certainly tried to do so.”
Smith finished the game 26-of-44 passing for 291 yards and a touchdown. He’s thrown for at least 200 yards in all seven starts of his college career. Freshman Charlie Brewer, who won a state title at Lake Travis last season, made his college debut in the second quarter.
Mims finished with seven catches for 127 yards and a score. Freshman John Lovett rushed for a career-high 97 yards, the most by a Baylor running back this season. The majority of his yards came on his 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Baylor has a bye next week and travels to face No. 15 Oklahoma State on Oct. 14.
“I know this hurts,” Rhule said. "We're going to have to get a lot better. When will we be good enough to win these games? I don't know. But I'm definitely pleased with their progress and pleased with their work ethic.”