BAYLOR VS. IOWA STATE PREVIEW: Bears face chilly challenge in Ames
Baylor travels to play Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, at 2:30 on Saturday. The Cyclones are a two-touchdown favorite and ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives Iowa State an 81.7-percent chance to win.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Charlie Brewer entered the game in the final minute of the third quarter and rescused the Bears against Oklahoma State. Brewer completed 4 of 8 passes for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns and also ran for 28 yards. Not bad stats for a quarter.
WR Jalen Hurd has seemed like Baylor’s only offensive weapon at times this season. He caught 7 passes for 96 yards and a TD and also had a team-high 9 rushes against Oklahoma State. He produced a total of 123 yards in the win over the Cowboys.
LB Clay Johnston has become a tackling machine for the Bears. He posted 17 total, including 14 solo stops against Oklahoma State. The Bears will need him to match those numbers against Iowa State.
S Chris Miller had his best game of the season against Oklahoma State, posting 8 tackles, all solo. He made the stop of the day when he sacked Cowboys QB Taylor Cornelius on a crucial fourth-down play in the fourth quarter to set up Baylor’s game-winning touchdown drive.
SERIES HISTORY: Baylor leads the all-time series, 9-7. The Bears pulled into the lead against Iowa State by winning four straight from 2013 to 2016, then the Cyclones stopped that streak with a 23-13 victory last year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We got back to some fundamentals. We're not getting run by, we're getting beat down the field at the point of attack. And even with a couple pass interference penalties on Saturday, I much prefer those to touchdowns. I think our secondary, we got back to some base fundamentals of stepping and replacing, trying to stay in front of somebody, try to stay a little higher on the routes.” – Baylor coach Matt Rhule on the team’s response to getting burned by West Virginia WR Davis Sills V two weeks ago.
KEY MATCHUP: Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler vs. Baylor defensive backs. Two games ago, West Virginia’s 6-foot-4 David Sills torched the Bears for 139 yards and 2 TDs on just 5 catches. Butler has to be looking at that stat line and salivating. The 6-6 Cyclones receiver has just 33 catches this season, but he’s gaining momentum with three-straight 100-yard receiving games and 4 TDs during the surge. Baylor isn’t strong enough in run defense to devote too much attention to Butler, so they’ll have to slow him down with some one-on-one coverage.
--QB Charlie Brewer left the West Virginia game with a head injury and was in the concussion protocol. He was cleared to play against Oklahoma State and entered the game late in the third quarter. He is expected to be available at Iowa State.
--WR Denzel Mims caught just one pass for six yards against Oklahoma State. He said he was feeling sick on Saturday morning before the game. It’s unclear whether an illness was the only thing slowing him down versus the Cowboys.
--CB Grayland Arnold has missed the last four games with an ankle injury. He’s doubtful this week against Iowa State.
--LG Xavier Newman suffered a high ankle sprain in the win over Kansas and missed the next four games. He returned to action against Oklahoma State.