The numbers suggest the Bears should be a heavy favorite, and Vegas agrees opening the Bears as a 33 point favorite. In this First Look, we will break down a few of the raw statistics, before we tackle advanced metrics later in the week with our more in depth previews.
Offensively, the Bears are still averaging over 700 yards, including 414 through the air and nearly 300 on the ground. Iowa State averages 387 yds/gm, with 237 passing and 150 rushing. For scoring, the Bears are putting up 63.4 a game, while Iowa State averages 28.8. Baylor also averages 10 more first downs per game.
Defensively, Baylor again holds the advantage when reviewing the raw stats. Baylor is giving up 346 yds/gm (25th nationally), while Iowa State is giving up 447 (102nd nationally). Baylor has been much better against the pass - 190/gm vs 267/gm for the Cyclones. Iowa State is better at forcing fumbles and recovering them (9 to 3), but Baylor has the advantage in interceptions as it often forces teams into throwing situations (7 to 2).
The biggest margin of defeat for Iowa State is 8 points, and that was in its first game of the season (28-20 loss to Northern Iowa). In its 2 Big 12 games, Iowa State lost by 1 to Texas (31-30) and 7 (42-35) to Texas Tech. The close scores and methodical offense Iowa State runs makes the 30+ point line seem like a difficult cover for Baylor.
Offensively, Sam Richardson is the do-everything QB for the Cyclones. In addition to 1,187 yds passing and 10 TD's (with 4 interceptions), Richardson is the second leading carrier (71 to 77 for ISU's lead RB) and is rushing for almost 50 yards per game.
Aaron Wimberly got off to a slow start with only 10 total carries through 2 games, but since then has carried the ball 19, 29, and 19 times in the last 3 games. 2 of those times (the first 2), he went for over 100 yards rushing, including 117 yds, 1 rushing TD, and 23 receiving yards with a receiving TD against Texas.
Quenton Bundrage has been the most consistent receiving threat, averaging 4.6 receptions per game. He has twice broken the 100 yard barrier of receiving yards in games this year.
Jacques Washington (safety) leads the Iowa State defense. He ranks third in the league with 10 tackles a game, and has started 31 straight games for Iowa State.
Overall, the defense is last in the Big 12 in scoring defense. This includes a last place rank on defense against the pass. Against a prolific Baylor passing attack, Iowa State is going to have to step up to have a shot in this game.
Throughout the week, we will bring you much more about this Baylor vs. Iowa State game, including further breakdowns of the Iowa State attack.