WACO — The unbelievably believable moments have not stopped at Baylor.
In fact, the biggest one of all happened Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium without Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who coined the phrase during his Heisman Trophy run last season for the Bears.
Baylor shattered a part of the BCS on Saturday with a 52-24 drumming of No. 1 Kansas State, sending the Wildcats out of the unbeaten ranks and throwing a wrench into the championship picture with No. 2 Oregon also falling to Stanford.
“If you don’t believe, get out of the locker room,” said Baylor quarterback Nick Florence. “All week we believed we were going to beat them.”
Now, a one-loss team is all but certain to play for the national title. And it is all because the Kansas State defense, which had held every team it faced to 30 points or less this season, was shredded by Baylor.
The Bears racked up 580 total yards, including 342 on the ground against the Wildcats, who came into the game with the nation’s No. 11 defense against the run, giving up less than 100 yards per game.
Former Temple standout Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin did most of the damage, rushing for 185 and 113 yards, respectively.
This is Baylor's first-ever win over a No. 1 team, and the first win over a No. 2 team since the Bears defeated Tennessee on Jan. 1, 1957.
"I think we just had a lot of energy, a whole lot of belief and a whole lot of want-to,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “The crowd really propelled us."
The offensive outburst put Kansas State out of its element. Usually, a run-first team, Heisman favorite Collin Klein was forced to throw the ball 50 times in an effort to keep up with the Bears’ attack.
Klein finished 27-of-50 passing for 286 yards and had two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times by an opportunistic Baylor defense. Usually, a danger with his legs, Klein had only 39 yards rushing on 17 carries.
“We executed better. This week, we refused to be denied and came away with the big win,” said Baylor nickelback Ahmad Dixon. “We beat the socks off these guys."
His counterpart across the field, Nick Florence, made mistakes too — he was intercepted twice — but was aided by the rushing attack. Florence finished 20-of-32 for 238 yards and two touchdowns.
Baylor got on the board fast against what is soon to be the nation’s former No. 1 team. Florence found a streaking Tevin Reese down the center of the field for a 38-yard touchdown strike.
“Getting points on that first drive is huge,” Florence said.
Florence put the Bears up 14-7 with a bootleg around the right tackle for a 12-yard touchdown run.
On the next drive, an offsides call negated an interception, and on the next play Florence found Terrance Williams open for a 22-yard score with 6:42 left in the second quarter.
Seastrunk broke off a 27-yard run down to the Wildcats’ 6-yard line and Martin finished off a nine-play, 64-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:54 left in the half as Baylor went up 28-7.
The last 2:47 of the half, belonged to Kansas State. First they ripped off a four-play, 63-yard drive and scored on a 7-yard pass from Klein to Chris Harper. Then the Wildcats defense stepped up and held the Bears to a three-and-out and left their offense with 51 seconds to operate. In that time, Klein completed five passes for 52 yards and rushed twice for 11 yards and got the Wildcats a field goal as time expired.
In the third quarter, the Baylor defense came back strong, intercepting Klein on the opening drive.
A 15-yard Seastrunk rush, a pair of Florence rushes for 19 yards and another touchdown run from Martin and the Bears pushed their lead to 35-17 and with 13:29 remaining the in the third quarter.
A mistake at the 1-yard line proved costly, though.
Florence tried to throw wide, only to be intercepted, giving Kansas State a first-and-goal at the 1. Klein then scored his 20th rushing touchdown of the season to cut the Baylor lead to 35-24.
But the Bears just kept scoring.
With 58 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Seastrunk broke off an unbelievably believable 80-yard run straight through the heart of the Kansas State defense and pushed Baylor past the half-a-hundred mark on the scoreboard.
“Everyone is jumping up and down, Gatorade is flying everywhere, it is a good feeling,” Florence said. “We still need to get at least one more (win) and our goal is to win the next two. … This is a good memory, but we have to get bowl eligible. Baylor has never been to a bowl game three years in a row. We have to write more history.”
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569