Saturday got off to quite the start in the Big 12 Conference. We saw Kansas State blowout Houston, West Virginia bounce back against UCF, and Kansas knocking off the mighty Oklahoma Sooners.
I decided to make the trip to up to Waco to watch Iowa State take on Baylor. The Bears were in desperate need of a win to keep their bowl hopes alive, while Iowa State was looking to remain in the Big 12 title hunt. Between homecoming, the pouring rain and everything in-between, it was certainly an interesting day in Waco.
Here are my three thoughts on Iowa State’s 30-18 win over Baylor.
Iowa State’s Offense is Hot
The fact that this offense didn’t play their best game and won on the road by double digits says a lot about how well Iowa State is playing right now. In the postgame, Rocco Becht mentioned that this was his worst game and that caught me off guard but luckily for him, he had the running game to support him. Iowa State averaged 4.6 yards per carry and finished the game with 162 rushing yards. This team has rushed for over 150 yards in a game three times and all of them have happened in the last four games. Besides the rushing attack, we also saw Jaylin Noel, Jayden Higgins, and Benjamin Brahmer have excellent performances as well. The only thing that stopped this offense against Baylor was themselves. If not for a few missed throws and turnovers, this offense could have lit up the scoreboard even more.
Baylor’s Roller Coaster Season Continues
It’s no secret that this team has had their fair share of struggles this season. They started off the year losing to Texas State and at home and since then it has been a whirlwind of chaos for this team. It took a second half miracle to beat UCF and they certainly didn’t play their best games against Long Island and Cincinnati either.
On Saturday against Iowa State, this team was lifeless for almost three full quarters. Blake Shapen wasn’t sharp with his passes and the run game was almost nonexistent. The Bears averaged just 2.7 yards per carry against the Cyclones on 25 carries. In fact, they had just two runs that went over ten yards. And what on earth was going on with the two point tries? Just kick the extra point.
As bad as the offense was, the defense wasn’t any better. They let Iowa State march up and down the field for most of the game and I felt like the Cyclones could have put 40 on the board today. All I can say about this team is that watching them is like riding a roller coaster, but I would say that a roller coaster has more ups than whatever Baylor is doing right now. This team has four games left and is sitting at 3-5. Can they win three out of their last four games to get bowl eligible? I have a tough time seeing that happen.
Hello, First Place
If someone told me that going into the month of November that Iowa State was going to be tied for first place in the Big 12, I would have called that person crazy. Well, here we are late in the season and the Cyclones have found themselves right in the conference title picture. What we have seen over the last few weeks from this Iowa State team has been nothing short of amazing. Sure, they started the season off shaky with losses to Iowa and Ohio (that one still looks bad), but since then they have reeled off three straight conference wins and are winners of four out of their last five games.
The defense has been phenomenal, as expected, but the offense is what has surprised me the most about this team, along with special teams of course. We are seeing a young quarterback in Rocco Becht gain confidence each week and an offensive line that is starting to gel as the run game has caught fire. I have said it before and I will say it again, this is not a team you want to be playing right now.