The Baylor Bears face travel up north to Ames, Iowa to face off against the Iowa State Cyclones this Saturday evening. Both teams are in desperate need of a win to end a losing streak. Baylor has lost three games in a row while Iowa State has fallen twice in a row.
Iowa State is not a team with a bunch of big names, as you will see. However, they play tough football and are very difficult to beat at home.
- A.J. Klein – Senior Middle Linebacker
Klein is one half of the best linebacker duo in the Big 12, and possibly one of the best in the country. He is their leading second leading tackler with 54 stops, and has added 2 tackles for loss and a sack on the season. He is a prototypical linebacker, with good size at 6-2, 248 pounds and has started 34 career games. He is not as strong in pass coverage as he is stopping the run.
- Jake Knott – Senior Weakside Linebacker
The other half of the linebacker duo is just as dangerous. He is slightly bigger at 6-3, 252 and has started alongside Klein for the last 34 games. They know how to play off of each other and do it very well. Knott is the ISU leading tackler with 68 tackles, 6 of which for loss. He has also added 2 interceptions and defended 7 passes. He is slightly better against the pass, and you can expect him to be put on the tight ends or any running back coming out of the back field.
You know the old saying "if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have any"? Well, that is starting to work its way into Cyclone lore this year. Jantz started the first four games of the year with Barnett starting the last 3. Both have struggled at times, with Jantz throwing 7 interceptions and Barnett not even completing half of his passes.
The senior Jantz is more of a prototypical pocket passer, who really has all of the physical tools you would want in a QB. He has a good arm and can make all of the throws. His decision making has been poor and he has never really rallied the team around him. Barnett is pretty much the exact opposite. He is an athlete playing quarterback at this point of his career. He is a very capable runner, gaining 129 yards so far this year after rushing for 437 yards last year. He is very inaccurate though, and is slow to make reads.
- Shontrelle Johnson – Junior Running Back
It is hard to pick one standout runner for the Cyclones, as five players have led the team in rushing, though Johnson has led them the in yards in two games. He is the only rusher to have more than 100 yards in a single game (opener against Tulsa with 120). However, after that Tulsa game, he has averaged just 3.125 yards per carry.
This is a struggling rushing attack with probably their best overall runner, James White, out this week. With the Cyclones wanting to keep the ball away from Baylor, their running game is going to have to step up.
- Aaron Horne – Senior Wide Receiver
On paper, Horne is by far their best weapon offensively. He is a slot receiver for the Cyclones who leads them in receptions with 32. He is also tied for third on the team with two touchdowns and has the second most yards from scrimmage on the team (Behind the injured James White). With an offense with very few explosive players, Horne is more of a steady presence for Iowa State. He is very good on 3rd downs, and will catch most balls thrown his way, so keep an eye on him on those important 3rd downs.