Baylor vs Iowa State football: Previewing the Bears special teams


If you want to find a weakness for Baylor, you’ll have to look in the special teams category. They have a freshman field goal kicker that isn’t quite on target with his kicks yet, and a returner will be out for the contest.

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However, the team does boast one of the nation’s top punters (who is widely overlooked because they rarely need him) and they still have another dangerous returner that can make plays.

Place kicker

Chris Callahan (#40, 5-9, 185 lbs, RFr)

Field goal kicking is about the only weakness the Bears have. Last year, senior Aaron Jones converted just 61 percent of his kicks. Instead of going to senior Kyle Peterson who’s in there for some extra points, the freshman has gotten the nod and has been struggling.

He’s only 1-for-5, making a 23-yard chipshot in his first attempt against SMU. He then missed three more in the contest (two inside the 37). He also missed a 35-yarder at Buffalo.

If the Bears are in any position to kick a field goal, don’t be surprised if they decide to just go for it, similar to Iowa’s mentality two weeks ago.


Hawthorne is the guy Iowa State wants to steer away from [on kick returns.]

Spencer Roth (#36, 6-5, 220 lbs, Sr)

Here’s the thing about the Bears — they really haven’t had to worry about punting much. Roth only needs to punt a couple times a game, but when he’s out there, he can boot it a long way. The now-senior averaged 45.8 yards per punt last year. He hasn’t reached that milestone yet, but he can flip the field if the Baylor offense didn’t already.


Hawthorne is the guy Iowa State wants to steer away from. He’s already averaging 34.5 yards (69 yards on 2 returns) while Spngler has been significantly less (19 total yards). Despite Johny Jefferson being listed as the top kick returner on the depth chart, he has yet to field a kick or punt return.

Spangler continues to fill in for Levi Norwood at punt returner, but he hasn’t been nearly as productive yet because he can’t break tackles like the currently injured player. Spangler has just 3 returns for 6 yards.