Baylor vs. Iowa State Preview / Prediction / Poll Thread

David Purdy

The Baylor Bears welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Floyd Casey Stadium this Saturday for the last Homecoming game Baylor will ever have at a stadium off the campus grounds. At stake is bowl eligibility at the earliest point in decades and a #12 ranking. How do you think the game will go?

vs.
12/12 BAYLOR (5-0, 2-0) vs. NR/NR IOWA STATE (1-4, 0-2)
Oct. 19, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000)

TV: ESPNU
Listen | GametrackerGametracker | Game NotesNotes | Tickets | In-Game BlogSportStream | Gameday Central

ODB Game Hub: Baylor Bears vs. Iowa State Cyclones 2013
Stats Preview: Baylor vs. ISU Stats Preview
First Look: Iowa State Cyclones
SB Nation Preview: IISU Goes Slow and Steady
Official BB.com Preview: Outstanding stuff.
ISU Roster/Depth Chart: 2013 Roster, Depth Chart
Baylor Game Notes: Depth Chart on page 11 of the .pdf
ISU'S SB Nation Blog: Wide Right & Natty Lite
Spread: Baylor -33.5 (Over: 76)
TV Coverage: ESPNU
Weather Forecast: High of 69 for Saturday, 10% chance of rain
Uniforms: Stay Tuned...

Tickets...

We're still waiting for an official word from Baylor about how many there are available through the official ticket office, but...

Stubhub shows 434 available.

Injury News:

Baylor--

DT Suleiman Masumbuko -- Reportedly injured in the Kansas State game. Could be limited on Saturday.
DT Trevor Clemons-Valdez -- Not listed on the Depth Chart once again. Will not play.

Iowa State--

QB Sam Richardson -- WILL START. Walking wounded according to most ISU fans. On WRNL, they wonder if he should play at all this week. May see his backup, Grant Rohach, take more snaps than we might otherwise expect.
RB Aaron Wimberly -- Performed well in practice this week according to Paul Rhoads. I bet he will play and receive a significant number of carries.
RT Jacob Gannon -- Out, according to a very nice ISU fan that showed up in the First Look on Tuesday.

I'm still looking for more news on this front, so I don't have much to share. If you know of something else, throw it in the comments.

Brian Nance News:

Recovering from the shock of not being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Still redshirting, but now with additional purpose: to bring and spread good will and cheer to all mankind.

Talking About the Game:

This week's preview section is going to be somewhat abbreviated since I shared so much yesterday in the stats post (linked above). All week, I've vacillated between extreme confidence that Baylor will blow out the Cyclones and a steadfast belief that ISU will cover the spread. Because of the ridiculous spread in this game, however, those things are not mutually exclusive.

I mean no disrespect to ISU, its players, or its fans when I say that the Cyclones simply do not have the talent, particularly on defense, to stop Baylor on Saturday evening. That's not a guarantee that Baylor will win going away so much as a statement of belief. We will score points because that's what we do, with the one team that has had basically any success at all stopping us from achieving that goal being uniquely suited to the task. The players ISU relied on in the past-- guys like Jake Knott and AJ Klein-- are gone, and the Cyclones defense has really suffered in their absence.

The big wildcard that could make this game more interesting than it might otherwise be is ISU's rushing offense, led by Wimberly but with Richardson and/or Rohach also heavily involved, whoever should play. If Baylor's defense hasn't learned from the mistakes of last week, ISU may be able to move the ball effectively, denying us the opportunity, like Kansas State did, to gain momentum on offense and start the ball rolling downhill. Baylor's offense works best when it works quickly, and the more possessions we get, the faster we tend to go. Kansas State knew that and schemed specifically against it, revealing a game plan that could be effective generally against our offense. We should expect others will attempt to do the same thing going forward. It's almost definitely the best way to handle an offense like ours with so many weapons.

My Prediction:

For better or worse, Baylor is simply a different team at home as opposed to on the road. Playing on the turf helps, since speed is by far our best asset, as does playing in front of a home crowd. Our players have said they feed off the energy of Baylor Nation, and I think that's true. Still, I have a hard time taking almost anyone to cover a 33-point spread in a conference game, though if Baylor was going to do it, it would be at home.

I really blew it on the specific predictions for yardage in last week's game, especially with regard to both teams' running games. We didn't do nearly as well running the ball or defending against the run as I expected. I'm going to go a little more conservative with that in mind this week, especially since Bryce Petty has now established himself as The Man in the Baylor offense.

OFFENSIVELY, Baylor rebounds from last week's sub-500 yard effort against Kansas State to put up over 600, getting back on track for a record-breaking year. Petty throws for 300, most of which go to Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley, and the combo of Lache Seastrunk/Glasco Martin put up 200+ more on the ground. I think Lache has a big game at home after a lackluster week against Kansas State, but Glasco's healthy return puts him in a position to dominate the red zone carries as he did a year ago.

DEFENSIVELY, Iowa State commits hard to the run in the early going until Baylor takes a big lead (assuming we do). Baylor performs well against Wimberly but still gives up more than a few plays that make you wonder what we practiced during the week. Ahmad Dixon has a big game from the safety spot drawn up close with Terell Burt, but Bryce Hager leads the team in tackles again.

FINAL SCORE: Baylor 63, Iowa State 34. ISU gets the backdoor cover against our backups in the fourth quarter.

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