Cyclones hope to blow past seventh-ranked Bears

Ames, IA (SportsNetwork.com) – With the taste of their first victory of the
season still fresh in their mouths, the Iowa State Cyclones will attempt to
upset the seventh-ranked Baylor Bears when the two teams meet in Big 12
Conference action this Saturday night.

Both teams should be well-rested after enjoying byes last weekend.

Baylor comes in a perfect 3-0, having yet to be tested as it blasted past SMU,
Northwestern State and Buffalo by a combined score of 178-27. The Bulls at
least put up something of a fight, scoring three touchdowns in the second half
en route to a 63-21 home loss on Sept. 12. The 63 points put up by Baylor
matched the program record for most scored in a road game (70-63 loss at West
Virginia in 2012).

This bout represents the conference opener for the Bears, who are the
defending Big 12 champs, and are considered among the favorites to win it
again, along with No. 4 Oklahoma. The two teams will meet in Norman on Nov. 8.

Iowa State lost its first two games, both at home, to North Dakota State
(34-14) and Kansas State (32-28), the latter of course being the Cyclones’
league lid lifter, but coach Paul Rhoads’ squad bounced back to take down
intrastate rival Iowa on Sept. 13, in Iowa City no less, by a final score of
20-17.

This game marks ISU’s third at home already, and it will actually play
four of its first six in Ames, culminating with a Homecoming matchup against
Toledo on Oct. 11.

The series between these two teams is tied at 6-6, but the Bears have won four
of the last six meetings, including a 71-7 pasting of the Cyclones in Waco
last season.

From a national perspective, Baylor owns the top offense (59.3 ppg) and the
second-stingiest defense (9.0 ppg). The Bears are also No. 1 in terms of yards
per game (654.3), while sitting third in total defense (221 ypg).

Although Bryce Petty is the starter, Baylor has used two different
quarterbacks to maximum effectiveness this season. Petty has thrown for 577
yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions, while backup Seth Russell has
seven scoring strikes to only one pick, while amassing 626 yards. Both are
completing better than 60 percent of their passes, and they have spread the
ball around to 10 different receivers, including Jay Lee (19 receptions, 294
yards, four TDs) and KD Cannon (14 receptions, 471 yards, five TDs).

The BU run game accounts for 238.3 ypg, and the team has 12 rushing TDs, four
of which belong to leading rusher Shock Linwood (47 carries, 219 yards, four
TDs). Johnny Jefferson is close behind with 216 yards and two scores.

Petty, who returned the lineup after missing the previous game with a back
injury, threw for 416 yards and four scores against Buffalo, and Linwood
tallied 98 yards and touchdowns. Lee and Lynx Hawthorne each caught two TD
passes.

Baylor head coach Art Briles was clearly pleased with the effort Petty put
forth.

“We know what he can do, I think he is the best quarterback in the country in
college football. The fact of him getting out there with different personnel
was a big deal. We have young receivers and running backs. For him to come
into a situation like that in his first road game of the year against a team
that was hungry to beat us, I think he did exceptionally well.”

Baylor held Buffalo scoreless until the 9:31 mark of the third quarter,
permitting 394 yards in all to a team that needed to air it out often in an
attempt to get back into contention. The Bulls finished with 255 yards
passing, but the Bears registered three sacks and forced eight punts.

Orion Stewart paced the Baylor defense with nine tackles, giving him 16 for
the season. Bryce Hager leads the squad with 19, while Taylor Young is right
there with 18. Shawn Oakman has three of the Bears’ 15 sacks, while Xavien
Howard has the team’s only two INTs.

Iowa State won for the second straight time in Iowa City (9-6 in 2012), as the
Cyclones posted 337 yards of total offense, compared to only 275 for the
Hawkeyes.

Quarterback Sam B. Richardson converted 25-of-37 passes for 255 yards and two
touchdowns, hitting eight different receivers at least twice. Allen Lazard led
the way with five grabs for 53 yards. As for the ISU ground attack, it was
stymied to the point of only 82 yards, and the Cyclones held the ball for just
26:26.

Richardson is hitting the mark on nearly 70 percent of his pass attempts this
season (.680), but has thrown for only 591 yards, three TDs and three INTs in
three games. Jarvis West highlights the receiving corps with 15 catches (137
yards), while Lazard checks in with nine (143 yards). Richardson is also the
team’s leading ground gainer at this point, but he has just 119 yards. Aaron
Wimberly is hot on his heels with 108, having scored two of the team’s three
rushing TDs.

The Cyclones certainly came to play on defense against their bitter rival,
limiting Iowa to just 129 yards rushing and 146 via the pass. They notched
four sacks on the day, while coming up with a pair of turnovers. Jevohn Miller
led the stand with nine tackles, while Cory Morrissey was credited with two
sacks.

Despite their strong performance against Iowa, the Cyclones are permitting an
average of 417.3 ypg, with their effort against the run being the more suspect
(221.1 ypg, 10 TDs). Stopping the pass has certainly been easier for the team,
as foes typically generate just 196.3 ypg, and they have yet to score a TD
through the air.

Miller leads the way with 29 total stops, while T.J. Mutcherson and Nigel
Tribune are close behind with 24 and 21, respectively. Morrissey has half of
the team’s seven sacks, but the unit as a whole will need to be more
opportunistic moving forward as it has just two takeaways.