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Baylor vs. Iowa State: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Iowa State vs. Baylor preview and prediction. 

Game Info

2:30 p.m. Central Time, Saturday September 28th, 2019, McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas. 

TV: ESPN

Baylor Radio: Baylor IMG Sports Network/ESPN Central Texas

Iowa State Radio: Cyclone Radio Network 

Spread: Iowa State (-2.5)

Iowa State Fun Fact: The Cyclones have lost three straight Big 12 openers. They look to end that streak on Saturday against Baylor. 

Baylor Fun Fact: Since Matt Rhule’s arrival, Baylor has won five Big 12 games since 2017. Three of those wins were at home while the fourth was in Jerry World against Texas Tech. The lone road win was at Kansas back in 2017. There is no doubt Baylor has been much better at home since Rhule has been in Waco. 

 

Key Players

Iowa State

QB Brock Purdy

While the Cyclones offense just started finding their rhythm last weekend, Brock Purdy has been quite good so far this season. In fact, through his first three games, Brock is completing over 73% of his passes and has thrown for 6 touchdowns to just one interception. Sure, the offense has looked bleak at times but even with the struggling parts around him, Brock has carried the offense so far this season. 

DE JaQuan Bailey

Although the stats won’t show it, JaQuan is still the best pass rusher on this team. I could have gone with DT Ray Lima here but what Bailey can do off the edge is incredible when he isn’t being double teamed. Given Baylor’s struggles on the offensive line, JaQuan could have his first big game this season. 

Baylor

QB Charlie Brewer

Much like Brock Purdy on the other side, Charlie will have to make some plays in this game for Baylor because this game could be one heck of a fight to the finish. I know that Baylor has had a cupcake schedule up to this point, but Charlie has been fantastic this season outside of that Rice game last week. So far this year, Charlie has thrown 7 touchdown passes with no picks and has completed over 71% of his passes. Hopefully he can get some decent protection in this game. 

DT James Lynch 

James is probably one of the most under the radar players in the entire Big 12. Once again, he is off to another great start to another year. Through he first three games, he has already logged three sacks. He can play inside and outside on the defensive line and he will give offenses fits no matter where he lines up. He will be a key man for the Bears defense making the Cyclones know where he is before the snap. 

 

Key Storylines

Iowa State

There is no doubt that Iowa State’s first thing to do on offense is establish the running game. I know Baylor hasn’t really shown many weaknesses so far this season due to the soft schedule but last year, Baylor gave up over 183 yards a game on the ground which was the second worst in the Big 12. If Iowa State is to test that out, they will need better play from their offensive line opening holes for all those running backs. Defensively, I don’t expect a whole lot of change from Iowa State because they have played well defensively. Rice did a good job taking away the Baylor run game last week and it clearly frustrated the Baylor offense as they were shut out in the second half of that game. I doubt the Cyclones want to get into a big shootout, so I expect them to control the game, run the football and play good defense. 

Baylor

I have a hard time seeing Baylor run the football on this defense, so I fully expect for Charlie Brewer to use those weapons on the outside in this game. It would be foolish of Baylor to run on this defense so go ahead and spread them out and get the football to Denzel Mims, Christ Platt, R.J. Sneed and Tyquan Thornton. I know the Cyclones have some good safeties but test those corners out on Saturday. Defensively, don’t give up big plays. Iowa State has had several long touchdown plays this season and for Baylor, they gave up way too many of those last year. Limit the big plays and make the Cyclones work for it. 

Prediction

Iowa State 31 Baylor 28

 This will be a tough, hard fought game until the very end, and I wouldn’t be surprised whichever team had the football last wins the game. However, I really didn’t like what I saw from Baylor’s offensive line last week and to be honest, the last two years. Don’t get me wrong, Charlie Brewer is an excellent quarterback but with this line going up against Iowa State makes me worried for the Baylor offense. Sure, Baylor will get a few plays here and there but the Cyclones defense and run game put them over the top for me in this one. 

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