The Baylor Bears overcame a 14-point deficit going into the fourth quarter to escape with a 45-41 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones. The Bears, behind 469 rushing yards, were able to stay close enough to the Cyclones as they had their way with the Baylor defense through the first three quarters.
Iowa State's offensive attack was perfect through the first 45 minutes, with 6 of their first 7 drives resulting in touchdowns. The only drive that didn't end in the endzone for ISU was a kneel-down situation at the end of the first half. Joel Lanning dominated the Bears early, completing 14 of his first 15 passes and making the right reads before the play to put the Cyclone offense in the right play. It was a masterful performance for the co-starting quarterback entering the game along with Jacob Park who did not appear against Baylor.
With a punt on its first drive and a failed 4th down conversion on their second, the Bears once again started slowly as the Cyclones started off with touchdowns on their first two drives to go up 14-0 early in the game. From there, it was all about the Bears offense maintaining contact with ISU. Big plays on the ground and through the air helped the Bears finally get going. Seth Russell found Chris Platt deep for a 46-yard gain to setup a Terence Williams 7-yard touchdown run. On the next drive, he found Blake Lynch for 57 yards down the middle of the field before a Shock Linwood 2-yard run.
After that, the running game of the Bears would take over, led by senior running back Shock Linwood. The Bears all-time leading career rusher was benched last week with several negative comments from the coaching staff to the media. The message was sent and receiver, as Linwood ran with aggression and decisiveness, showing off his tremendous balance and vision on his way to a career high 237 yards on the ground. He averaged 9.5 yards per carry on his season high 25 touches.
With the defense completely unable to stop the Cyclones for the first three quarters, the game changed when the 4th quarter started. The Bears defense shut down the Cyclones completely for the last 15 minutes, holding them to zero first downs and a total of 7 yards on 9 plays. The three forced punts gave the Bears the ball back, and gave them enough time to complete the comeback. It continued the amazing run for Phil Bennett and the Baylor defense in the fourth quarter, as they have yet to allow a single point through 5 games.
The Cyclones for almost the entire game, gaining a 7-0 lead under 6-minutes into the game with the Bears finally getting even at 42-42 with just over 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter. After the Bears defense again held the Cyclones to a 3-and-out at midfield, Seth Russell and the Baylor offense had 5-minutes and 85 yards for the victory. Baylor methodically ran the ball down the field, gaining 69 of the 83 yards on ground to setup a 19-yard field goal for junior kicker Chris Callahan as with the last few seconds on the clock.
As the ball sailed through the uprights, the Bears had a deep sigh of relief, knowing that their Big 12 title and national title hopes were still alive. The Bears have a bye week this coming week before an October 15th homecoming game against the Kansas Jayhawks.