Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 matchup in our Iowa State vs. Baylor preview and prediction.
Saturday, September 25th, 2021, 2:30 p.m. CST; Waco, Texas; McLane Stadium
Radio: Cyclones Radio Network/Baylor Sports Network
Spread: Iowa State (-7.5)
Fun Fact: Iowa State is just 1-4 in Big 12 opening games under Matt Campbell, but the Cyclones have won three out of their last four meetings against the Bears.
QB Brock Purdy
While he has not looked like the old Brock Purdy just yet, he did have a bounce back performance against UNLV last weekend. He threw three touchdown passes in that game which ended up being his first three of the 2021 season. Hopefully that was a confidence booster he needed because he will be going up against a good Baylor defense on Saturday.
LB Mike Rose
I feel like people have not said much about the reigning Big 12 defensive player of the year but just remember how good of a football player he is. Mike is still the leader of the Iowa State defense and is second on the team in tackles. The Bears will try their best to establish a run game and that should give Mike plenty of opportunities to make some plays.
QB Gerry Bohanon
Coming into the season, I had my doubts about Gerry but so far, he has proved me wrong. While he has played lowly competition, he has not turned the football over and is completing 72.9% of his passes through three games. His accuracy thus far has been surprising but he is going to face a good Iowa State defense on Saturday so I am curious to see how he will handle himself when Baylor needs him to make a play.
LB Terrel Bernard
Despite missing most of the 2020 season due to injury, Terrel has looked like his old 2019 self so far in 2021. The stud linebacker has been all over the field for Baylor and he is a great leader of this Dave Aranda defense. He is one of those types of players where the offense needs to locate him before the snap.
For the Cyclones, I only worry about one thing which is the offense. The defense has been fantastic so far this season as they are giving up the fewest yards per game in the entire country. Defense is the least of their concerns but on offense, I still worry about Brock Purdy and the passing game. We saw him have a good game against UNLV, but Baylor is not UNLV. The Bears have a good defense as well and if they force someone other than Breece Hall to beat them, then Brock will have to step up and use some of his targets such as Charlie Kolar and Xavier Hutchinson to beat them through the air.
The Bears have a top five rushing offense in the entire country but now they face the number one ranked defense in the nation. If Iowa State slows down their run game, then it will be up to Gerry Bohanon to lead the offense with his arm. So far Gerry has been excellent with his throws and has yet to turn the football over. If he can play a clean game, then Baylor can possibly pull off the upset. Defensively, the key for Baylor will be stopping Breece Hall.
Prediction: Iowa State 28, Baylor 21
I think both run games will struggle in this one. Both defenses are good against the run and it will come down to who can throw the football better. Right now, I still trust Brock Purdy more than Gerry Bohanon, so I am picking the Cyclones to win by seven down in Waco. This should be a fun game to watch.