Let’s crunch the numbers in this Saturday’s matchup in Waco. For those that haven’t kept up with Baylor this season, it’s finally time to get out from under that rock and be amazed.
Despite the Bears’ similar poor football history as the Iowa State Cyclones, Art Briles has created a system to compete with the Big 12 and has done an amazing job and turning the program around since 2010. It wasn’t just Robert Griffin III — this could be the team’s best since Briles took over.
- Iowa State leads the all-time series 6-5.
- Baylor has won three of the last five meetings, and Iowa State has a 2-3 record at Waco.
- In the last two road games, the Cyclones have been outscored 87-36. That could potentially be the final on Saturday night.
High-octane offensive attack
- Baylor leads the nation in points per game (62), yards per game (723.2), points per play (.79), yards per play (9.2), and yards per pass (14.3).
- Bears QB Bryce Petty averages 338 yards per game, but more important is the efficiency. Petty has at least six more yards per attempt than the entire top 10 passers in the country.
It’s not all just in the air
- Baylor is third best nationally in rushing yards per game (308.2).
- Bears RB Lache Seastrunk averages 128.6 rushing yards per game, which is ninth best nationally. Similar to Petty, Seastrunk doesn’t have near the attempts as other running backs near him.
- Similar to Oregon last season, Baylor’s numbers are a bit skewed because players like Petty and Seastrunk haven’t played in full games and shares the load with all the blowouts. That’s why much of this production is gained with less attempts.
Why Aaron Wimberly is so important
- Baylor’s weakness on defense is stopping the run. They rank 61st nationally in rush defense giving up 155.2 yards per game.
- The Bears are the seventh-most team that’s ran on. Opponents average 47.2 rush attempts per game.
What are the other weaknesses in Baylor?
- Penalties: Baylor averages 8.5 penalties per game, which is 120th nationally.
- Possibly field goal kicking. Bears K Aaron Jones hasn’t set the world on fire making 47 of 75 field goals in his career (.626 average). He’s only hit two of four this season, but that’s mainly due to the team not needing him much except on extra points (where he’s made all 42 he’s attempted).
There’s one advantage Iowa State has!
- Red zone scoring: Big plays are the name of this offense, but they’ve struggled a little in the red zone scoring 80 percent of the time. That comes in at 77th nationally.
- In comparison, Iowa State is one of three teams that are still 100 percent in red zone conversions (they’ve converted all 17 attempts). How much does that matter? Well, Rice and Connecticut are the other two. The Owls are 4-2 (3-0 in a meager C-USA) and the Huskies are 0-5.