Undefeated Iowa State will face 17th-ranked Baylor on Saturday at home, kicking off Big-12 play. Both teams are coming off a blowout win against schools outside the Power 5.
The Bears beat Texas State 42-7, while the Cyclones routed Ohio 43-10. In Baylor’s only test so far, the Bears lost in overtime against BYU, which was ranked 21st in Week 2. Iowa State beat its first challenge of the year, defeating its in-state rival, Iowa, for the first time in six meetings.
Let’s check the latest NCAAF picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF odds for Baylor vs Iowa State. We’ve plenty of NCAAF predictions for you to consider.
Baylor’s Question Marks
In the opening week, Baylor dominated Albany 69-10, rushing for seven touchdowns with six different players crossing the goal line on the ground. Quarterback Blake Shapen also threw for 214 yards and a touchdown.
However, the Bears lost 26-20 to BYU in a game that went into overtime and left some unanswered questions. Lead running back Taye McWilliams suffered an injury, Shapen struggled, and the defense allowed 366 yards. The win over Texas State has answered some questions, but not all.
Most importantly, true freshman Richard Reese may be the replacement at running back. He rushed for 156 yards on 19 carries, finishing with three touchdowns, against Texas State. Craig Williams shared the backfield with Reese and played well, which may be Baylor’s stop-gap till McWilliams can come back. The defense also stepped up, allowing 268 total yards and, more importantly, only 82 on the ground.
Questions remain around the starting quarterback, as Shapen threw for just 184 yards, with a touchdown and interception. He did make an impact with his legs, rushing for his second touchdown.
Iowa State is Dominating the Trenches
Every Iowa State win has had a common theme, the team’s ability to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The running game has fueled the Cyclones’ offense, and the defense has held opponents up front.
Jirehl Brock has rushed for 280 yards on 50 carries. He had more than 100 yards in the first two games and did not break that threshold against Ohio because Iowa State was already up by so much.
The defense has been great, allowing an average of nine points against, 11th best in the country. The Cyclones have yet to face an offense capable of doing much, so playing Baylor will be a measuring stick.
A similar thing can be said about the Cyclones’ first-year starting quarterback, Hunter Dekkers. In games against non-Power 5 schools, he has looked solid, throwing for 561 and seven touchdowns in two games. However, against Iowa, he struggled, throwing for 184 yards and two interceptions.
Baylor vs Iowa State Game Injuries
Baylor vs Iowa State Head-to-Head
When these teams meet, the games have been relatively close. Last year, Baylor won 31-29; the year before that, Iowa State beat the Bears 38-31. The last time a team won by 10 or more was in 2017, when the Cyclones won 23-13.
They have matched up 20 times, with the Bears holding 11 victories.
Baylor vs Iowa State Game Information
- Date: Saturday, September 24th
- Time: 12:00 pm EST
- Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa
- How to watch Baylor vs Iowa State? ESPN2
Baylor vs Iowa State Live Stream: ESPN
Baylor vs Iowa State Betting Lines
Baylor vs Iowa State Prediction
Iowa State is favored by 3 against the 17th-ranked Baylor. It is a little bit of a surprise, but with the Cyclones playing well and being at home, it does make sense. The Bears have looked good against lesser opponents but lost their only game against a team that was a challenge. Their run defense has been solid, which will need to carry on against a team that likes to run the ball like the Cyclones.
This game will likely be close as this matchup has been in the past. It could come down to a game-winning field goal for either side. Baylor will do enough to keep it close if they can’t get a win.