Taking a look at 5 keys to a Baylor victory on Saturday

Taking a look at 5 keys for Baylor to get a victory in Ames, Iowa on Saturday

The Bears are coming off of an emotional win against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The game featured several weird factors, including a 90 minute weather delay. There are still a few question marks for this team, but they were able to get a groove going on offense and the defense played very inspired. 

As we continue our game preview series, we take a look at 5 keys to the game versus Iowa State.

  1. Stay Healthy. This will continue to be a key every week. For the most part, the Bears got out of the Oklahoma State game unscathed. KD Cannon re-aggravated a groin injury and will miss the Iowa State game, but outside of that everyone seems to be healthy. This will be important each week, but with a bye week in 2 of the next 3 weeks, the Bears should get back to full strength before a murderous row to end the season. Pooh Stricklin and Ryan Reid should be back from injuries. 

  2. Focus. This was not an issue against OSU. The Bears were focused and played inspired ball. Their focus will need to be even higher this week, as they are coming off of a very emotional win last weekend. Still though, the Bears answered questions about how inspired they would be this season. This should be a good test for the mental capacity of this team.

  3. Win the line of scrimmage. Against OSU, the Bears were pushed around on the defensive line, as the Pokes ran for over 225 yds on Saturday. This was a concern going in to the season, but with the Cowboys being primarily a passing team, it is even more of a concern that they had so much success on the ground. Iowa State will likely try to establish the run as well, so it will be important for the Bears to stay true to their gaps and assignments to help limit the running game. Iowa State isn't an explosive offense, so the Bears should have success.

  4. Special Teams. This has been an improvement over previous years, but Saturday the punt and kick return units were abysmal. Give credit to OSU, but Tony Nicholson fumbled a punt early in the game that gave OSU their first points of the game. After that, Nicholson was very timid with the ball and the Bears will need to improve in this area as they move into Big 12 play. Nicholson is explosive but will need to gain more and more confidence. Breaking a punt return for a TD should go along way to helping with that confidence. 

  5. Be YOU on offense. After very slow starts to the first three games, by the offense, Seth Russell and crew returned to form against Oklahoma State. The Bears marched down the field on their opening drive and never looked back. Even after a 90 minute weather delay. Russell was excellent, Ishmael Zamora was excellent, Chris Platt was excellent and the OL was great. Aside from KD Cannon, if the Bears can get explosive games from Zamora, Platt  and the running game, the Bears will be very difficult to stop. Iowa State has a young, but very raw defense, so the offense should pick up where it left off. 


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