MANHATTAN — Even when they were moving the ball, the Kansas State Wildcats really didn't go anywhere.
Add a defense with fresh tackling issues and it made for a long, frustrating Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
The Wildcats came close enough to matching Baylor's offensive output, but that was about it as the unbeaten Bears found the end zone four times to just once for K-State on the way to a 31-12 victory.
"That was a disappointing loss for us," K-State coach Chris Klieman said after watching the Wildcats fall to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 with their second straight setback.
The diagnosis was simple enough, especially on offense, where the Wildcats managed 341 total yards and put together three drives of 60 yards or more, only to settle for two field goals before scoring their lone touchdown on a fourth-down play deep in the fourth quarter.
"Obviously you look offensively and we've got to be able to sustain drives," Klieman said. "We had some good plays but not enough sustained drives together.
"And defensively we have to tackle better. It was an awful display of tackling downfield and we gave them a couple of scores because either we missed the cup and didn't fit it right or they bounced off us."
Baylor gained its separation with a 98-yard drive in the second quarter to break a 3-3 tie and a 91-yarder on its first possession of the third. From there, it was an uphill battle for K-State.
"For whatever reason, we had a tough time getting a rhythm going offensively," K-State receiver Dalton Schoen said after the Wildcats needed three-plus quarters to score a touchdown for the second straight week. "Also I feel a couple of times we'd get a drive going and then we would hurt ourselves somehow by having a negative-yardage play that kind of set us back.
"And then we just couldn't get the ball in the end zone and that's not acceptable."
By the time the Wildcats successfully completed a drive, on a 5-yard, fourth-down pass from Skylar Thompson to Schoen with 6:24 left, Baylor already had built a 24-6 advantage.
The Bears (5-0, 2-0) maximized their 426 yards total offense, including the two long backbreaking drives in the second and third quarters.
The 98-yarder came midway through the second period with the game tied at 3-3, following a booming 55-yard Devin Anctil punt that went out of bounds at the Baylor 2.
Quarterback Charlie Brewer threw out of trouble for 11 yards to Tyquan Thornton to start the drive and found him on consecutive plays covering 27 and 29 yards for the score to put the Bears in front for good.
"The 98 one was the big one because Devin (Anctil) does a great job of pinning them down in a field position game and it's 3-3," Klieman said. "Both defenses were playing well, and lo and behold, they make a couple of plays."
After stopping K-State to start the second half, Baylor drove 91 yards in six plays on its opening series, extending the lead to 17-6 on a 13-yard John Lovett touchdown run. Brewer threw a pair of 25-yard completions on the drive to Denzel Mims and Thornton.
"Obviously it just comes down to football and you've got to play your technique, what you're taught to do," K-State defensive end Wyatt Hubert said of the defensive struggles.
Coming on the heels of last week's 26-13 loss at Oklahoma State, the loss clearly stung.
"It's obviously just a little bit of a shock," Hubert said. "I just kind of feel like the whole team overall really isn't playing up to our ability.
"I think we looked like a completely different team this week and last week compared to week three against Mississippi State."
Baylor, meanwhile kept right on rolling. Even when Brewer went out with an injury early in the fourth quarter, backup Gerry Bohanon jumped right in and finished up a scoring drive that made it 24-6.
Brewer went out with the ball at the K-State 42-yard line and Bohanon immediately completed a pass to RJ Sneed that covered 38 yards and included at least two missed tackles. On the next play Bohanon ran it in from the 4.
After K-State answered with its 67-yard scoring drive, capped by the Thompson-to-Schoen touchdown, the Bears struck back immediately on a 46-yard Lovett run at the 5:37 mark.
"Any time you lose it's frustrating; it's never fun," said Thompson, who completed 22 of 34 passes for 218 yards with one touchdown and his first interception of the season. "It definitely hurts.
"But it's part of the game sometimes, part of the journey and we've just got to buckle down and focus on what we need to work on."
While Thompson was relatively effective throwing the ball, the Wildcats also got 94 yards rushing from James Gilbert, though he fumbled the ball twice. Schoen and Phillip Brooks each had 69 receiving yards.
For Baylor, Brewer completed 14 of 23 passes for 230. JaMycal Hasty led the Bears in rushing with 87 yards on eight carries and Lovett had 74 yards on six attempts.
K-State scored first in the game on a 31-yard Blake Lynch field goal with 2:11 left in the first quarter, but Baylor tied it early in the second period on a 36-yarder from John Mayers. Lynch had one other field goal, a 29-yarder with 21 seconds left in the third period.
K-State now has its second bye week before facing TCU at home on Oct. 19.
"We told the guys we're going to be good, but we've got to fix some problems and we've got to fix some issues that have crept up the last couple of weeks," Klieman said. "We have it front of us. There's tons to play for and in front of us it's our job to do the right things."