Baylor vs. Iowa State Recap

After a remarkable defensive performance against Oklahoma State last week, Baylor struggled immensely at Iowa State before a late fourth quarter comeback continued the Bears undefeated streak. Iowa State has greatly improved under the direction of young head coach Matt Campbell, but their upset attempt wasn’t enough to steal the game from Baylor. A last second field goal from Chris Callahan (reminiscent of the 2014 TCU game) led to the Bears’ 45-42 victory in Ames.

Baylor’s star of the game was undoubtedly RB Shock Linwood, who recorded a personal best 237 rushing yards with one touchdown. After a mediocre start to the season, the first-string fifth-year senior rediscovered his spark on the field- one that sets him apart from every other tailback on the field. Linwood shoved his way through any gaps the O-line opened for him and juked past defenders left and right. He showed up when the team needed him, grabbing first downs and setting up the offense to score even if he was to switch out with RB Terence Williams. With a chance to rest over the next few weeks, I’m excited to see how Linwood will continue his record-breaking senior season with fresh legs. QB Seth Russell’s last encounter with the Cyclones was at the seventh game of the 2015 season where he broke his neck. This memory didn’t slow down Russell throughout the game as he completed 12 of 22 pass attempts with one passing touchdown and two rushing scores. If anything, Russell was even more brave this time around- scrambling all over the field and often choosing to keep the ball himself. While the RBs kept the show going- Linwood with one touchdown and Williams with two, young WRs Blake Lynch and Chris Platt had their own star moments: each catching a 57 yard and 46 yard pass, respectively. The offensive line has to be praised for their hard work throughout the game, allowing Russell and the tailbacks chances to push through to Cyclone territory. While the line is still young and inexperienced, more time spent in the trenches will eventually pull them together into a unified unit.

Oh, our precious defense. How they not only anger me but also extract all of the love out of my heart.  Last week, I witnessed a fresh core of pass rushers and DBs who lit up on the field, taking away every opportunity for the enemy to score. Turnovers abounded and my favorite dynamic duo tackled and sacked to their heart’s content. This week however, that defense disappeared and we were left with a group who could not for the life of them, seem to stop Iowa State QB Joel Lanning or his receivers. The Cyclones scored six touchdowns on all six of their possessions before our defense found a way to force punts in the fourth quarter. Iowa State’s offense was lucky enough to not feel the presence of NBs Travon Blanchard and Pat Levels who at this game, did not exist. It’s one thing to allow the opposing team to score on one possession but to score on all six is a nightmare for DC Phil Bennett. The defense sure will have some explaining to do as they watch game film this week. Not all of their performance was bad though, as they didn’t allow any points and held the Cyclones to only seven yards in the fourth quarter.

Overall, I’m extremely proud of our team for fighting through till the end of the game. Most people would have given up down 42-28, but the guys kept playing and putting in the work. That kind of discipline and strength shows the ultimate strength and talent of a team. With more practice and drills, I’m confident that they will be as solid of a team as possible when they face Texas in four weeks.

Final notes:

Shock has secured a spot as one of the greatest Baylor football players of all time
Bless Ira Lewis for his fourth quarter sack (maybe the only Baylor sack?)
My faith in Chris Callahan was extremely low- my bad
I’m extremely excited for Blake Lynch’s breakout moment