Oct 13, 2012; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Jake Knott (20) tackles Kansas State Wildcats wide receiver Tyler Locket (16) during the first half at Jack Trice Stadium. Kansas State defeated Iowa State 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Iowa State Gameday: Baylor Preview

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If Steel Jantz gets the nod at starter, he will need a better performance than last season. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Baylor @ Iowa State

Saturday, October 27th – at Jack Trice Stadium; Ames, IA

Bears 3-3, 0-3 (9th in conference) | Cyclones: 4-3, 1-3 (8th in conference)

  • Kickoff – 6:00 p.m. CT
  • Television – FOX Sports Networks (see affiliate list at bottom of page)
    Announcers: Mike Morgan (PxP), J.C. Pearson (commentary) 
  • Radio – Cyclone Radio Network (affiliate list)
    Announcers: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (commentary) 
  • Weather – Cloudy to mostly cloudy, 39-35 degrees (from AccuWeather as of Saturday morning)
  • Odds – Iowa State is favored by three points and the total over/under is set at 71 points (from LVH as of Friday night)

Quick History

  • 11th meeting, teams are tied 5-5 all-time.
  • Baylor has won three of last four meetings.
  • Only met one time previous to Big 12 in 1988 (ISU lost 35-0).
  • Defeated Baylor 24-17 in 1997 Homecoming game to end 13-game losing streak.
  • Baylor’s first road victory in the Big 12 came in 2005 at Jack Trice Stadium, defeating ISU 23-13.

Terrance Williams has been a beast again this season, and will be the top receiver to contain tonight. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Iowa State were in the driver’s seat to reach a third bowl game in four years after starting out 4-1, but the team has fallen on hard times losing the last two games. Not only has the bottom fallen out of the running game with James White being hurt but a possibility of three different quarterbacks could start in tonight’s game.

Coach Paul Rhoads simply said the offense has no identity. With no running and a weak passing attack and no real starter at quarterback, it’s the best way to describe it.

Luckily for Iowa State, the fan base will grow tonight with the 100th homecoming taking place. Festivities have been going on all week and as fans pile in the tailgating lots, Rhoads hopes the players will be rejuvenated after a tough day in Stillwater a week ago.

There’s no question, outside of being mum on the quarterback battle, Rhoads loves his team, the team loves him, and they all love the fans. This team may have lost their previous two games at home but the Cyclones were up against the seventh and 24th best defense in the nation. Tonight they will play the 124th-ranked defense in the nation – better known as dead last.

If there’s anyway Iowa State can jump start the running game or find a quarterback to lead them through the rest of the season, this is the best way to do it. A bowl game is still possible with Baylor and Kansas left on the schedule.

Gameday Thoughts

  • Most of the nation doesn’t believe Iowa State has a good defense if you look at the total over/under set at 70 points or more at most Vegas casinos. Looking just at the box score, they have been abysmal statistically in the previous two games. The real story is the offense just not staying on the field. There’s only so much the defense can do to contain these offenses, and Baylor will be no different if ISU can’t convert third downs. The Cyclones are just converting them 30 percent of the time in their previous four games.
  • There is no way of knowing who will get the start at quarterback tonight. Jared Barnett has been winning the battle in practice, but it’s clear right now that if ISU lacks a running game, Barnett can’t win a game with his arm. Steele Jantz may have been pulled too soon now that we know Texas Tech’s defense is legit, and just for the sake of getting to a bowl game, Rhoads may put him in. If he throws a few picks early on, it wouldn’t be surprising to see new freshman Sam Richardson get put in before Barnett does.
  • Wide receiver Terrance Williams for Baylor leads the team overall by a large margin. He now has 47 catches for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns in his senior season. He was only held to under 131 yards of receiving once (against Louisana-Monroe). Against TCU, he had just three catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns. The Horned Frogs have been famous for broken coverage downfield this season, huh?

Injury Report

Everyone will feel a lot better about this team if both James White and Josh Lenz are back in the offense tonight, even if not for the whole game. Outside of bashing the quarterbacks, how much were these offensive weapons missed last week? Both are questionable in the game.

One player on defense that Iowa State really needs is Jake Knott, and duo of A.J. Klein and him have made this defense one of the best in the conference. Both players have 122 total tackles among themselves, Knott with 68 himself and six tackles for loss. He has an undisclosed injury and is still listed as questionable for the game. Defensive back Deon Broomfield, who had a key turnover in the Oklahoma State game to keep them from getting more points before the half, is probable after a wrist injury.

For Baylor, cornerback K.J. Morton is doubtful and safety Mike Hicks is questionable. Morton is tied for fifth in total tackles with 32 and has two forced fumbles. Hicks has 18 total tackles.

Prediction

It’s hard to tell what will happen with the variables at quarterback, running back, and the potential of not having their leading defender. As long as the defense is poised and plays like it has with key stops in the red zone, they will hold Baylor to a low output.

On the flip side, the Bears can’t stop a Division II team. As long as whoever starts at QB doesn’t make mistakes and some sort of running game is established, the Cyclones should be able to rebound and stop the losing slide – both overall and at Jack Trice.

Iowa State 33, Baylor 20

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo, and Lacrosse the Web.

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