Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Iowa State Cyclones will face a ranked
opponent for the second straight week as they invade Floyd Casey Stadium for a
Big 12 Conference battle with the No. 12 Baylor Bears.
Iowa State suffered another close loss and dropped to 1-4 on the campaign last
week as it fell, 42-35, to the 20th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. All four of
the Cyclones' losses have been by eight points or less, including a one-point
setback to Texas that featured a controversial call. Paul Rhoads has led ISU
to a win over a ranked opponent in each of the last three seasons, making him
the only coach in school history to do so.
The Bears improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 play last week with a
35-25 decision at Kansas State. One more win will give them their first 6-0
start since 1980. They have now won nine games in a row overall and their
victory over the Wildcats tied the program record of five straight Big 12
wins. Coach Art Briles could make school history with a win on Saturday as no
Baylor squad has ever won its first three Big 12 games since the school joined
the league 16 years ago. Baylor's success moved it up to No. 12 in the most
recent polls, its highest ranking since 1991. The Bears have never been the
highest ranked team in the Big 12 before in history.
Iowa State holds a narrow edge in its rivalry with the Bears and holds a 6-5
all-time series lead. Both teams entered last season's bout with five wins in
the history of the rivalry before the Cyclones downed Baylor, 35-21, at Jack
Trice Stadium on Oct., 27 2012. The Bears have not been held under 30 points
in 11 games since their loss to ISU.
Although the Cyclones posted 35 points their last time out, they were
outgained by Texas Tech, 666-311, in total yards. ISU got a lift from Jarvis
West, who returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. The team has still
scored 30 points or more in each of its last three game and averages 32.5 ppg
in Big 12 play. The Cyclones have netted 174.3 yards rushing and 228.3 yards
passing per contest over the span of their last three games. Junior running
back Aaron Wimberly has emerged as a feature player in the offense with 319
yards and three touchdowns on 67 carries in those three contests.
Sophomore quarterback Sam B. Richardson has helped on the ground as well,
averaging 52.3 yards per game on the ground over the last three. Although he
struggled with his efficiency last week, completing only 15-of-38 attempts for
168 yards, he extended his consecutive streak of games with a touchdown pass
to eight by throwing one. Texas Tech was the first team this season that
managed to hold Richardson to less than two touchdown passes and 240 passing
yards. Quenton Bundrage is a big play threat in the aerial attack and paces
ISU with 323 yards and four touchdowns on 18 catches. ISU is now 17-of-17 in
the red zone this year with 13 touchdowns and four field goals, good for first
in the nation.
Defensively, ISU has been decent with allowed averages of 393 yards of total
offense and 26.8 ppg. However, the Cyclones conceded 666 yards and allowed the
Red Raiders to break a 24-game streak of holding foes under 40 points last
"We gave up 42 points this past Saturday. That is a lot of points to give up
as a defensive coach. This team is averaging 63," said Rhoads. "I don't like
to see it. You've got to do something about it as an opponent and as a
defensive football team. We're working fast to figure that out, we're not
going to score 64 points on Saturday."
They were able to keep the score close by forcing three turnovers, giving them
11 takeaways on the season. The defensive unit is anchored by a pair of
seniors in linebacker Jeremiah George and safety Jacques Washington. George
ranks 15th among FBS players and leads the conference in tackles at 10.2 per
contest, while Washington is second in the Big 12 with 10.0 per outing.
Rhoads's concern with getting his defense on point is well placed as Baylor
is leading the nation in total offense (715.4 ypg) and scoring (63.4 ppg)
while showing off incredible balance by ranking second in passing (414.2) and
fourth in rushing (301.2). The Bears became the first team ever to post 69
points or more in their first four games to begin a season, including a
season-high 73 on West Virginia in their Big 12 opener. Last week they were
slowed down for the first time in 2013, amassing only 451 total yards of
offense and 15 first downs against Kansas State. Senior tailback Glasco Martin
thinks the best is yet to come.
"There definitely is (more that you haven't seen), said Martin. "Bryce's
(Petty) confidence is growing more and more. I'm getting better each game.
Lache (Seastrunk) is a completely different player than he was last year. The
way I see it, our offense is limitless. Antwan and Tevin are playing great. We
can do anything we want to really on offense."
Junior quarterback Bryce Petty still had a sensational performance by any
measure versus the Wildcats as he completed 13-of-22 attempts for 342 yards
and three touchdowns without an interception. Tevin Reese made five receptions
for 184 yards and two scores. Reese's made a huge play with a 93-yard
touchdown reception before Antwan Goodley made a 72-yard touchdown grab seven
minutes later. Goodley finished with 139 yards on five grabs. Martin tallied
70 yards on 16 carries to pace the rushing attack.
Goodley is second among FBS players with 135.8 receiving yards per outing.
Reese is right behind him on the Big 12 leaderboard with 121.8 ypg. Petty
leads the conference in a handful of passing categories, including yards
(1,690), touchdowns (13), efficiency (230.6) and has been picked off only
The Bears' defensive unit had no trouble through the first three games against
a trio of weak non-conference foes, surrendering only 23 points before Big 12
play. They have allowed 33.5 ppg in two conference games and allowed KSU to
compile 327 yards and three touchdowns on the ground last week. Junior
linebacker Bryce Hager did his best to stifle KSU as he registered a career-
high with 18 tackles, including two for loss and one sack. Hager is just
behind ISU's Washington on the Big 12 tackle leaderboard with 9.6 per tilt.
Sophomore defensive end Shawn Oakman is also an impact player with a
conference-leading average of 1.8 TFL per game.
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