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John Mayers Made it! Baylor Beats Iowa State 23-21

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They did it!

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the worst day of your life can become the best day. After missing a 38 yard field goal and being passed over as an option for nearly of the rest of the day, John Mayers drilled a 38 yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining to give Baylor (4-0, 1-0) a 23-21 win over Iowa State (2-2, 0-1). The Bears take on Kansas State at 2:30 next Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas.

Baylor almost had a devastating defeat. The Bears led 20-0 entering the fourth quarter. But Iowa State ran off 21 straight points. Baylor took over with 3:45 remaining. Charlie Brewer had a few nice scrambles and Baylor had 4th and 4 at the Iowa State 21. Mayers came in and boomed the winning kick.

Matt Rhule elected to go for it on 4th and 17 rather than kick a 45 yard field goal earlier in the game. He also decided to go for it on 4th and 5 rather than kick a field goal. Baylor should have been up 21, but a botched extra point hold ensured Baylor was only up 20. Baylor’s kicking game was bad almost all day. But life and football come down to a few moments. Baylor did what they needed to in the defining one, and Iowa State leaves Waco with the loss.

The Bears’ defense was incredible for three quarters. Iowa State had nine drives and zero points. Clay Johnston was everywhere; Jalen Pitre was in the right spot. And Jordan Williams had an insane interception:

Baylor’s offense was abysmal for almost all of the first half. The Bears opened the game with a 46 yard pass to Denzel Mims. From then, until their final drive of the half, the Bears gained just 19 yards. They couldn’t run, and Brewer was under intense pressure. Several receivers had brutal drops too.

On their final offensive drive of the first half, Baylor’s offense came to life. Matt Rhule elected to go for it on 4th and 5 and the Bears converted and Mims scored:

The Bears’ defense didn’t hold up in the fourth. Brock Purdy made some insane throws, but the Bears weren’t the force they were earlier.

The offense will have to fix what they couldn’t do early and what they couldn’t do for much of the fourth quarter. Baylor scored just seven points in the first half. Nearly catastrophically, they couldn’t score until the end of the fourth.

But Baylor won. Iowa State will look back and think of a million times they could have won this game. Had Baylor lost they would have thought of a million things too. But Baylor did enough to win, and Mayers was money when it mattered. The undefeated Bears had to Manhattan next week and would gladly take another day like today.