The Baylor Bears defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 45-27 Saturday afternoon. It was a wet and sloppy game for the most part, especially after Baylor exploded to a 35-0 lead. Baylor scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives, and had 35 points with 8 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. Baylor would not score again until there was just 5:31 left in the 4th quarter, over 2 full quarters of game time. In that span, the Cyclones scored three touchdowns and cut the lead to 15 points. The third quarter was especially rough for the Baylor offense, as they gained just 25 yards on their three offensive possessions. T
Stats of the Game
- Iowa State controlled the ball for 34:35 of the game
- Baylor set a new season high in punts with 5
- For the first time in 2015, the Bears failed to go over 640 of total offense
- Baylor averaged a season low 5.6 yards per play (previous was 7.85)
- The Baylor defense tied a season high with 4-turnovers forced
- Iowa State ran for 232 yards, the most Baylor has allowed all season
Words of the Game
Offense - Unrecognizable
Even when the Bears were rolling with 35 points in the first quarter and a half, the offense still seemed off. Little things like batted ball at the line of scrimmage, missed deep shots, negative plays in the running game, and dropped balls. They scored 35 points in spite of themselves, with the defense deserving some credit as well for creating turnovers. Seth Russell threw incompletions on his first three pass attempts of the game, and the Bears were a defensive pass interference away from a 3-and-out on their first possession. He was just 3-8 passing on the first touchdown drive of the game. Baylor went 3-and-out on their second drive of the game, and before putting two touchdown drives together to get the game to 21-0. Even then, Russell and the passing attack were just 5-12 so far in the game. For the game, Russell completed just 16 of 37 pass attempts. The deep ball was consistently off in this one, as the 37-yard touchdown to Corey Coleman was really the only successful deep-shot of the game. With the running attack having to carry the load, the Bears became one-dimensional. They were consistently in 3rd and long situation, something that the Bears are incredible at avoiding. In the previous 6 games, the Bears had 30 total instances where they faced a 3rd and 7 or longer. Baylor had 8 instances where they faced a 3rd down with more than 9 yards to gain.
Defense - Needed
Most Baylor fans were not expecting to need a great, or even solid defensive performane in this contest. No one was thinking this would be a defensive battle mid-way through the 2nd quarter when the Bears went up 35-0, however that is where we were well into the 3rd quarter. Yes, they allowed 27 points, but this was a good defensive performance in some poor conditions. The running defense was not as strong as we have come to expect, especially with star Andrew Billings on the sidelines. However, 4 forced turnovers and 5 three-and-outs forced is more than enough for Baylor to win. They allowed those points on 15 possessions for the Cyclones, so scores on just 26.67% of Iowa State possessions. Take out the last drive which resulted in a score with just 10 seconds to go, and that goes down to 21.43%. That is what the Bears need from their defense.
Tweets of the Game
Play of the Game
Iowa State Ball, 4:48 left in 4th Quarter: 3rd and 8 at the Iowa State 34
This game was one play away from getting very tense for Baylor fans. With a 35-20 lead, the Bears defense had to keep getting stops. A score by Iowa State would make it a 1-score game and give the Cyclones hope of a monumental upset. Their switch to sophomore Joel Lanning reinvigorated the Cyclones offense, and bringing to life a dominant running attack. The defense kept the Cyclones in check allowing the offense to find itself and kick a field goal to end a 20-0 run by Iowa State and to push the lead to 18 points. Iowa State had the ball once again, looking to get those points back and more. On 3rd and 8, the Baylor defense had a chance to make a game changing play.
The Cyclones came out in a shotgun formation, with two receivers to the right and one to the left. They had a right end on the left side of the line of scrimmage, with their running back on that side as well. It was a common look for the Cyclones in this game, especially as they focused chip blocks and extra men to Shawn Oakman. With this an obvious passing down, everyone knew the pressure would be coming. With a sophomore quarterback with limited playing time though, he had not done a good job of varying his snap count. With this situation, Jamal Palmer timed the snap perfectly and got off of the line of scrimmage with great speed. He took three steps and was already at the right tackle's outside shoulder.
Palmer did a great job of dipping hs right shoulder to absorb the push by the linemen, and turn the corner. With his center of gravity lower, he easily got around the blocker and saw quarterback Joel Lanning directly in front of him. Lanning's attention was off to the left side, looking down the field. Palmer gathered himself and with his left hand. punched down at the ball, easily forcing the fumble. KJ Smith, who was lined up at the defensive tackle position jumpmed on the ball, giving the Bears excellent field position to setup their final touchdown.
Players of the Game
Offense - Shock Linwood (171 rushing yards, 2 total touchdowns)
The one Baylor offensive player that performend well throughout the game. Linwood had a rushing and a receiving touchdown in this one, and was by far the best offensive weapon the Bears had. The junior running back displayed tremendous vision and cutting ability, routinely making plays out of nothing. He had a season high 27 carries in the game, and all of them were needed.
Defense - Shawn Oakman (7 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 2 QB Hurries)
With Andrew Billings held out of the game, it was up to Oakman to be a force in this contest. He was. Oakman recorded one sack, forced a fumble, and 7 tackles. He got good pressure on the quarterback throughout the game, recording to pressures and a sack. He made several big plays in the running game, and had one of his more consistent games of the 2015 season. The Bears needed Oakman in this one, and they got a terrific performance. He forced several penalties on the Cyclones offensive line and was a major disruption throughout the game.
Every team has THIS type of game. They happen all the time. The hope is, you win it. You learn lessons about focus and paying attention to the details while things aren't going your way. The Bears 35-0 lead in this game was a mirage. They were not playing that well. It was more about Iowa State, and their QB Sam B. Richardson, giving them more chances. It was a 35 point lead in spite of themselves. When the Cyclones went to their backup QB, and a more ground oriented rushing attack, the Bears cracks started to not only show up, but also hurt them. With Andrew Billigns out of the game, this was not the same rush defense we have seen the past few weeks. Iowa State dominated the last 35 minutes of the game with their ground attack, dominating the time of possession, and frustrating the Bears. These things happen. In fact, this is probably goor preperation for the Bears next game against Kansas State. The Wildcats will do the exact same to the Bears, or at least try.
The simple fact is, the Bears played a sloppy, unfocused game on offense, and still scored 45 points. They completed less than 45% of their passes, with their deep passing game being washed away by the elements and some innaccurate passes. The Bears were off, and they still won by 3 scores. They played poorly, and still were never really threatened in this game. It was a win, and one that gets the Bears to 7-0. With November upon us, that is the most important thing.