Iowa State football: Baylor Bears lookahead


October 27, 2012; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones defensive end Nick Kron (69) pressures Baylor Bears quarterback Nick Florence (11) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The second half of Iowa State’s two-game road trip will be in Waco to take on the Baylor Bears. Last season, Shontrelle Johnson had his best Big 12 performance of the year with 74 yards in 16 carries. The biggest difference was Steele Jantz, who threw for 381 yards and scored five touchdowns with just one interception blemish.

Baylor was unable to sustain their offense, going scoreless for two and a half quarters after taking a 14-7 lead shortly after the start of the second quarter.

2012 Baylor recap

As usual, the offensive attack was unbelievable with the total offense being ranked second in the nation; it was first most of the season until Louisiana Tech took the top spot toward the end of the season. They averaged 572.2 yards per game, 340.5 of those were in the air.

Nick Florence didn’t miss a beat at quarterback with tremendous performances against overnight sensation Louisiana-Monroe, which they hung on for a 47-42 victory, and winning out with four straight victories over Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and UCLA. They defeated the Wildcats and Bruins by over three touchdowns.

Projecting the Bears

Baylor is really going to miss Florence under center and national leading receiver Terrance Williams (140.9 yards per game). The team won’t likely replicate the production and efficiency of how the offense ran last season. However, the weapons are there despite losing the nation’s best receiver. Tevin Reese was ranked 52nd best in the nation at receiving (73.6 yards per game). Both running backs, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, should make up for Florence’s production last season.

The huge wild card is at quarterback. Nick Florence burned his redshirt when Robert Griffin III went down late in the 2011 season, giving Florence just last season to prove himself. He did with flying colors, and proved his selflessness. This paves the way for Bryce Petty, who has spent three seasons with the Bears and learned from both Griffin and Florence. Now we’ll see if he can put what he learned on the field.

Too early analysis

Baylor has weapons returning with a quarterback that could be just as dangerous as Florence. The potential is there for this team to really contend, but the defense will always remain a question mark until it doesn’t become a field day for these Big 12 quarterbacks against the Bears’ secondary.