Defensive back Cedrick Williams focused for Baylor

Updated: October 29, 2003, 9:43 PM ET

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Cedrick Williams knows the statistics. Kansas State's junior cornerback chooses to ignore them.

Saturday's opponent, Baylor, is near the bottom of the Big 12 in almost every offensive category. But Kansas State has been inconsistent against the pass this season.

"You never know when a team is going to start clicking," Williams said. "You always know that you have to prepare for receivers like (Oklahoma State's) Rashaun Woods and (Texas') Roy Williams, but sometimes it's the ones you don't know about that can hurt you."

Baylor ranks last in the Big 12 in total offense and 112th in the country at 289.6 yards per game. The Bears average just 175.6 yards passing, ninth in the conference and 97th nationally, and have been plagued by turnovers.

"I don't think anyone has stopped them as much as they've stopped themselves," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "So the scary thing is what happens when they stop stopping themselves."

After losing cornerback Terence Newman -- now with the Dallas Cowboys -- and free safety Bobby Walker to graduation, the Wildcats' defense has struggled at times this season.

California passed for four touchdowns and Colorado threw for 290 yards, although both big days came in losses to Kansas State.

But in last week's 42-6 win over Kansas, Williams and fellow corner Randy Jordan had the Kansas receivers covered tightly. With starting quarterback Bill Whittemore sidelined in the first quarter by a shoulder injury, the Jayhawks passed for a season-low 71 yards.

"People underestimate the value of Newman and Walker," defensive coordinator Bobby Elliott said. "We really struggled to find someone to replace them. We haven't shut everyone out or down, but we're getting better."

Williams, a transfer from Garden City Community College, was a backup to Louis Lavender in Kansas State's first four games. Since Lavender was benched after being burned on a long touchdown pass against Massachusetts, Williams has had an interception and two pass breakups.

"Cedrick has gotten better every week," Elliott said. "He started slow, and somewhere it just clicked for him. I have reason to believe that he's going to get even better."

Williams said he has his mother to thank for the turnaround.

"She was like, 'Cedrick, you're not your usual self," he said. "She said I wasn't playing with attitude and emotion. Ever since then, I've felt more comfortable."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index