History in the Making

Many of this year's upperclassmen have the opportunity to do something never before done in K-State football history.
That feat?
"Have players win two Big 12 Championships and still be on the same team; that's something that's never been done Kansas State history," explained senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who was a member of the Wildcats' 2012 Big 12 Championship team. "That's one of the things that us seniors want to be remembered for here at Kansas State. We're just trying to leave our legacy."
Every Big 12 game is important and each game carries the same weight since the conference does not have a championship game, but with the conference title on the line for both K-State and Baylor, the magnitude surrounding tonight's game is fierce.
"We know this game has a lot of implications, obviously if we win we get a share of the Big 12 title, and if we lose, we don't," said senior linebacker Jonathan Truman. "So there's a lot riding on this game and we're just excited to prepare for it and execute."
More polished and ready to play than ever before after a season filled with ups and downs and learning experiences, the Wildcats have saved perhaps their toughest matchup of the year for last. 
The road to claiming at least a share of this year's Big 12 Championship will be no walk in the park.
Defeating Baylor - especially at Baylor - is tough. The Bears have won 15-straight games at home - the second-longest streak in the nation - and are 16-0 at home when the team is ranked under head coach Art Briles. 
"I think as a football player, as an athlete, you want to achieve your goals and dreams. You want to take on challenges," said junior defensive back Morgan Burns, "and I think this is a great challenge ahead of us, but I'm excited for it. I think it's going to be cool. It's going to be a great atmosphere, a great challenge and a great opportunity." 
Adding to the task at hand, the Bears offense is a force to be reckoned with. Ranking No. 1 nationally in first downs per game (30.2), Baylor has played with a 10-plus point lead for more than 60 percent of the 2014 season. Quarterback Bryce Petty has thrown for 25 touchdowns this year while averaging 289.3 yards per game through the air. 
"We've faced a lot of high-powered offenses, but I think Baylor is at the very top of the country, for sure, with what they do on offense and how they execute," explained Truman. "So it's going to be a big challenge for us, but we're excited for it. They're very fast at what they do; their tempo is second to none. Not only do they have a great O-line up front, but their skilled positions are always able to make big plays."
However, K-State will pose a few threats of its own on this final regular-season weekend of the 2014 college football season.
The Wildcat offense is led by quarterback Jake Waters who, in his last two games, has completed 43-of-61 passes for 694 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception. Waters leads the Big 12 in passing efficiency at 154.9, and, with K-State's all-time leading receiver Tyler Lockett by his side, the K-State offense is in good hands.
Finally, adding to the intensity of this year's trip to Waco is the memory of the last time K-State played there in 2012 when the top-ranked ranked Wildcats were upset by the Bears - a game that stripped K-State of its National Championship hopes. 
This year's squad still remembers the sting of that game, a crushing 52-24 loss, and is using it as motivation heading into tonight's matchup.
"This game is going to be really big for us," said senior defensive back Randall Evans. "A Big 12 Championship on the line, and also we remember back then, when we went there for our last away game. They took our championship away. So this game will be really big. It will be revenge for us, and we're looking forward to it." 
A win tonight, and this year's Wildcat squad will go down in history.
"It'd be the highest, the best thing I've done," said Waters on the chance to win a Big 12 title tonight. "That's why I came here, that's what I want to do, and we have the opportunity to do it. This is what you play for. It's why we practice every day and go to meetings - to have a chance to win the Big 12 Championship. That (opportunity) is here and now, and it just depends on what we do with it."
Tonight's game is set to kick off at 6:45 p.m., and will be aired nationally on ESPN.
MEN'S BASKETBALL FACES TENNESSEE
K-State men's basketball will take on Tennessee this afternoon at 2:15 p.m., in the Volunteers' Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"Hopefully we learned something from Long Beach and Maui," said head coach Bruce Weber. "Now we've got an SEC opponent on the road, and any time you go on the road, anything can happen. So, we'll see if we've grown up a little bit, and if we can compete for 40 minutes and get a road victory."
This afternoon's SEC-Big 12 Challenge will be aired nationally on ESPN2.
For more on this afternoon's game, please click here
 

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