MANHATTAN — Through a three-game winning streak to start the season and then last week's loss at Oklahoma State, the Kansas State Wildcats have preached the importance of remaining grounded.

That literally may be the case when they face unbeaten Baylor at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in their Big 12 home opener at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

An anemic offensive performance made for a long night in Stillwater, Okla., as K-State lost 26-13 to OSU, falling to 3-1 overall, 0-1 in the Big 12. And nowhere was that more glaring than in the running game, where the Wildcats managed just 126 yards on the ground after averaging 280 the first three.

"We're a running team, so we've got to establish the run some way, somehow," said senior running back James Gilbert, who leads the team in rushing with 321 yards, but was limited to 44 on 12 carries by Oklahoma State. "We didn't get it going until the second half, but I feel like once we get the running game going, anything is possible."

The Wildcats managed just 18 yards on the ground in the first half against Oklahoma State and trailed 16-3 at the break. Though they broke 100 yards after intermission, they never got within one score of the Cowboys.

"I think our (offensive) line is pretty (ticked) off about last week," K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson said. "If anybody's mad about the loss, it's those guys.

"They're a great group of guys that are great football players and they're going to be excited about the opportunity to respond this week. I know they're just as frustrated as I was as far as not being able to get things going."

K-State still averages 241.5 yards rushing per game, good for 17th nationally and fourth in the Big 12. But Baylor (4-0, 1-0) is second in the league against the run, allowing just 102.5 yards on average.

The Bears, who opened league play last week with a 23-21 victory over Iowa State, also play a three-man front that's similar to Oklahoma State's.

"It starts up front," K-State center Adam Holtorf said of Baylor's run defense. "Their nose guard (Bravvion Roy) is 330 pounds and they've got big guys playing the (ends).

"They do some similar things to what Oklahoma State did in terms of structure, so we've got to prepare and be ready for that."

Holtorf said the Oklahoma State loss hit the Wildcats hard.

"There's a lot of frustration because we weren't able to execute and we weren't able to take advantage of the opportunities we had," Holtorf said. "There's a ton of things that we can work on, but at the same time trying to keep everybody's chins up. It's one game. It doesn’t have to dictate this week or the week after."

The Wildcats' defense will face a balanced Baylor team that ranks fifth in the Big 12 in both rushing (216 yards per game) and passing (259.5). Quarterback Charlie Brewer has completed two-thirds of his passes for 972 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception.

K-State's Thompson has not yet thrown a pick either while completing 62 percent of his passes for 604 yards and four scores, but there is no question what has made the Wildcats' offense go.

"For us to be successful on offense, we have to be able to rush the football," K-State coach Chris Klieman said. "Does that mean we have to rush it for 300 yards? No, but we have to rush it with enough success to open up the play action."

Thompson, who spent much of the Oklahoma State game running for his life, agreed that establishing the ground game is paramount against Baylor.

"It's going to be huge," he said. "If you can't run the ball, you're predictable and everybody knows what you're doing before you do it.

"Obviously our offense, we're a run-first team, so we've got to get the run game established at some point in the game, whatever that may consist of."