Game Scout: Iowa State at Baylor

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

KICKOFF: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
GAMEDATE: 10/19/13
SITE: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas
SERIES: Baylor has beaten Iowa State in four of the last five meetings to take an 8-5 lead in the series. The Bears won 35-21 in Ames last year. Their last loss to the Cyclones in Waco was in 2004 by a 26-25 score.
RANKINGS: Iowa State unranked, Baylor No. 12

If there was any concern going into the season about establishing a link between a new quarterback in Bryce Petty and his receivers, those concerns have been put to rest in Baylor's 5-0 start.
Petty has completed 70 percent of his passes for an average of 338 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the nation, with wide receivers Antwan Goodley and Tevin Reese combining for 49 receptions for 1,288 yards.
They also have six touchdown receptions each with Reese getting two in the Bears' last game on plays covering 93 and 54 yards and Goodley scoring one on a 72-yard play.
"Those guys do a great job," Petty said as the Bears began preparations for the visit from Iowa State Saturday (Oct. 19). "They make my job easy.
"When you think about the passes we've completed and how open they are, it says a lot about how talented they really are. It doesn't come to any surprise on game day just seeing how they practice and how they work.
"For me it's just settling down, taking a deep breath and letting it fly, because they're going to get it."
Goodley said he got a little extra motivation from all the talk surrounding the loss of last year's receiving leader, Terrance Williams.
"Everyone was saying that Baylor wasn't going to be good, that we had to replace him somehow," Goodley said. "I knew I had to do something to help my team."
The Goodley-Reese combination is halfway to Williams' total of 97 receptions last year, even though the win over Kansas State in the last game marked the first time they two have played a full game because of the early routs.
In all, 11 other players have caught passes for the Bears, who rank second in FBS statistics in passing yards per game with 414.2.
"That's what Antwan and I talked about going into the season, not worrying about having one go-to guy this season," Reese said. "We wanted to tell Bryce to throw it to multiple receivers than just me and Antwan.
"It's a blessing because it was one of the things that we wanted."
Iowa State is taking the Baylor challenge personally.
The promise was made minutes after Iowa State lost 42-35 to No. 20 Texas Tech on Oct. 12 when Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George spoke about No. 12 Baylor, which is averaging 63.4 points.
"They're not going to do that against the Cyclone defense," George said.
That may be easier said than done.
The Bears scored at least 70 points in three of their first four games and put up numbers that that exceed video game stats.
Quarterback Bryce Petty (1,690 passing yards, 13 touchdowns) is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Running back Lache Seastrunk (643 rushing yards, eight touchdowns) is held in the same regard.
And then there are the big-play receivers, Antwan Goodley (679 receiving yards, six touchdowns) and Tevin Reese (609 receiving yards, six touchdowns).
Kansas State was the only team to hold Baylor under 60, in a 35-25 loss on Oct. 12.
The Cyclones are coming off a game against an opponent with an offense nearly as prolific as Baylor. Texas Tech ran 101 plays and gained 666 yards.
"Baylor is going to do more of the same and have done it with more success than anybody in the country," Rhoads said. "We're going to need to put on our track shoes."
Not only does the ISU defense need to slow Baylor down, but the ISU offense must keep pace with the Bears to have any shot of winning. ISU's highest point total, 38, is only three points more than Baylor's lowest total.
The Cyclones put up 35 points in their last game, but the offense sputtered for most of the contest. The Cyclones had 11 points and eight three-and-outs.
Those are numbers that can lead to a one-sided game quickly developing against Baylor.
The toughest task for ISU this week will fall to George and the defense. Not only must they face one of the top offenses in the country, but it's up to George to deliver on his promise.
"We're going to continue practice, and continue to get better and play Cyclone football," George said. "We're going to get better and do exactly what coach asks us to do."

--C Tom Farnoik is back healthy after an early season MCL injury. An ISU offensive line that's struggled with pass protection -- ISU is 117th allowing 3.6 sacks per game -- needs its best lineman to help the Cyclones lower that number.
--WR Quenton Bundrage is the only healthy ISU offensive playmaker as quarterback Sam Richardson is dealing with an ankle injury and running back Aaron Wimberly has back and shoulder issues. The Cyclones need someone on offense to provide the big plays to counter the ones Baylor will have. Bundrage is the Cyclone in the best spot to do that.
--LB Luke Knott is coming into his own. The redshirt freshman recorded 10 tackles last week and will be tasked with stopping Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk, who has rushed for 643 yards this season.
--DE Willie Scott had one sack against No. 20 Texas Tech. ISU will need him to keep pressuring Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty so Petty, who is averaging 338 passing yards a game, doesn't have time to find his receivers.

--RB Lache Seastrunk will be looking to make up for lost time after rushing for a season-low 54 yards against Kansas State. It was the first time he hasn't reached triple digits this season, but he still leads the Big 12 with his 128.6 average.
--WR Tevin Reese showed of his big-play capability in the win over Kansas State. He had touchdown receptions of 93 and 54 yards, the second giving the Bears a 28-25 lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
--LB Bryce Hager is the Bears' leading tackler. He has 48 tackles for the season after recording a career-high 18 against Kansas State.
--S Ahmad Dixon has really settled back in to his old position after playing the last two years at nickelback. He had his first interception of the season against the Wildcats, giving him four in his career.

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