Kansas State Looks to Contain Griffin and Tame the Baylor Bears This Saturday

Mike StanleyContributor ISeptember 27, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 24:  Quarterback Collin Klein #7  of the Kansas State University Wildcats hands off to running back John Hubert #33 against the Miami Hurricanes September 24, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Kansas State Wildcats will host the Baylor Bears this Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas. Ever think that sentence would get your blood pumped up? Me neither, but this match-up of undefeated teams will be one of the marquee matches this Saturday for Big 12 fans. 

Kansas State sports a 3-0 record and a little swag they brought home from South Beach after their 28-24 victory over the Miami Hurricanes last week. Collin Klein is leading a tough Kansas State rushing attack with 66 carries for 310 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

After the Miami game, he seems to have found his stride as a passer and is posting some very respectable numbers through the air as well. Klein is 34-57 for 335 yards and four touchdowns on the season, and while that may not seem like he is lighting up the skies with his passing game, he really doesn't need to. 

The junior quarterback from Loveland, Colorado is really growing into a dangerous quarterback that defenses are going to have trouble shutting down. Last week showed he can make plays with his arm, but it will be interesting to see if he continues to show some consistency.

The Wildcat defense has also shown much improvement over the off-season and the first three games. Last season, the Wildcats were one of the worst defenses in the Football Bowl Series.  So far this year, the Wildcat defense is ranked No. 7 overall and shows a tremendous increase in speed and tackling. 

Tre Walker, Arthur Brown, and Emmanuel Lamur have proven to be a solid linebacker corps, and are bigger play-makers than the group KSU had last season. David "Rat" Garrett continues his physical style of play despite his lack of size, and newcomer Nigel Malone is leading the team with three interceptions. 

However, is the newfound swagger and defensive play enough for Kansas State to win? 


Saturday in Manhattan, all eyes will be on the Robert Griffin, III. RG3, as he is dubbed by his teammates and fans, is one of the most electric players in the nation right now. He is quickly proving his elite status as a quarterback and is an astounding 70-82 for 962 yards and 13 touchdowns in the passing game. 

Want to hear a crazy stat? The man has more touchdowns than incompletions. Griffin's favorite target is senior Kendall Wright who has accounted for nearly half of the Bears' receiving yards this year.  The Bears can put up points, and they can do it quickly. If the Bears get out to a two-score lead, it could spell trouble for the Wildcats.


However, the Baylor defense leaves a lot to be desired. They are currently 71st in the nation in defense and in week one gave up 48 points to an Andy Dalton-less TCU team. More importantly, they gave up 31 points to the 98th ranked offense of the Rice Owls. 

The Bears' defense will need to tighten up if they want to contain the read-option running game that the Wildcats bring to the table. If Baylor's defense wants a chance to prove that they are going to pull their weight this season, now is their chance.

Key Matchup of the Game:  Kansas State Defense vs. Robert Griffin. 

If the Wildcats can contain Griffin and keep him from making big plays, the game is in their favor. The Bear defense probably won't be able to keep KSU from imposing their will, and we should see some good, old-fashioned "Bill Snyder Keep-Away." 

If the Wildcat defense can't keep Griffin under control (a tremendous feat in and of itself), Baylor will have a big game, and the Kansas State offense will have a hard time catching up, even with the subpar defensive squad for the Bears.

A top offense against a top defense = a recipe for a great football game. 

The game will be televised nationally on ABC at 3:30 ET, 2:30 Central.