Brad Taylor is pulled down by Kansas State defensive back Ray Cheatham after catching a pass for a 37-yard gain. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Oct. 27, 2007
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Josh Freeman threw touchdown passes on three straight possessions to open the second half, and wide receiver Jordy Nelson broke another school record in Kansas State's 51-13 victory over Baylor on Saturday.
Nelson had eight catches for 105 yards and broke the Kansas State record for receptions in a season. His 8-yard catch from backup Carson Coffman was his 76th this year, breaking Darnell McDonald's mark of 75 in 1988.
Nelson added a 92-yard punt return for Kansas State's last touchdown in the closing seconds of the game. Earlier this year, he set single-game records with 15 catches for 109 yards in a 61-10 win over Missouri State.
Freeman threw for 247 yards and had two 1-yard TD carries for the Wildcats (5-3, 3-2 Big 12), who pulled away from a 10-point halftime lead to hand Baylor (3-6, 0-5) its eighth straight conference loss. Kansas State's Brooks Rossman kicked three field goals.
Leon Patton had 115 yards on 17 carries for Kansas State, and Daniel Gonzalez caught seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Baylor committed seven turnovers and managed just 13 yards rushing against Kansas State's defense, which gave up 329 yards on the ground in last week's 41-39 loss at Oklahoma State. By the time quarterback Blake Szymanski came in, it was too late to save the Bears' passing game after fill-in Michael Machen struggled.
Machen, making his second straight start because of what Baylor said were Szymanski's migraine headaches, lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions against the Wildcats - giving him five INTs in two games.
Junior John David Weed was ineffectual in one second-quarter possession for Baylor, and Szymanski came in after Machen's second interception. He threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns, both to Thomas White, but also lost two fumbles and had an interception.
Szymanski completed his first seven passes, including a 52-yard TD to White that drew the Bears within 16-6 late in the second quarter. That was as close as they'd get.
Deon Murphy returned a punt 56 yards to the Baylor 22 early in the third quarter, then caught Freeman's 22-yard touchdown pass on the next play for a 23-6 lead.
Freeman capped the Wildcats' next drive with a 40-yard TD throw to Gonzalez to make it 30-6. That came after Nelson's one-handed catch and run for a 31-yard gain on third-and-7 from the Wildcats' 23.
Before that, they were 0-for-9 on third-down conversions.
On Baylor's first snap after Gonzalez's touchdown, Reggie Walker sacked Szymanski and forced a fumble. Clayton Cox recovered for Kansas State at the Baylor 11, setting up Freeman's 6-yard pass to Nelson for a 37-6 lead.
Freeman's first touchdown run put Kansas State up 7-0 in the first quarter, and Rossman added two 34-yard field goals and a 33-yarder to make it 16-0 early in the second.
Freeman was replaced by Coffman to open the fourth quarter, but came back in to lead another scoring drive after Coffman fumbled.
Antonio Johnson recovered for Baylor, and on the next snap Szymanski threw a 38-yard scoring pass to White to cut the Wildcats' lead to 37-13.
After Leon Patton's 18-yard carry to the 1-yard line, Freeman's second touchdown keeper made it 44-13.