AMES – In order to stop Baylor’s aerial assault, Iowa State needed to win in the trenches.
Last season in Waco, the Cyclones surrendered 395 yards in a 49-26 loss. Iowa State flipped the script in Saturday’s 35-21 victory.
The Bears mustered only 115 yards on the ground, and scored well below its 48-point average coming into the contest. Credit a brilliant game plan by defensive coordinator Wally Burnham and great execution by his players.
“We made sure the number one thing we did was stop the run so we could control some other things they do offensively,” linebacker Jeremiah George said.
Yes, the Bears totaled 541 yards, but the Cyclones defense made them work for each one. Baylor went just 9-of-20 on third and fourth down conversion combined.
“We stopped the run very effectively, which we did not do a year ago against this football team,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “The down four were a big measure in that.”
The Bears’ leading rushers (Lache Seastrunk and Nick Florence) totaled only 30 yards each.
Cyclones rushing attack back on track
Want one big reason why Steele Jantz played so well on Saturday? The Iowa State rushing offense.
The Cyclones roughed up the Bears for 176 yards on the ground.
“The backs and the offensive line are equally responsible for it,” Rhoads said.
Shontrelle Johnson muscled his way for 73 yards. James White returned to action for Iowa State and tallied 42 yards. Jantz added 54 yards to go with his 381 yards passing.
Linebacker A.J. Klein on the play of his fellow linebacker Jake Knott
“Jake being the guy he is and the kind of player he is, he’s hard nosed. He wants to play every single game he can.”
– After Saturday night’s 35-21 win the Cyclones are now 6-5 all-time against Baylor. Iowa State is also 3-0 versus the Bears in Homecoming games.
– Saturday night’s attendance was 54,877.
– Iowa State improved to 13-2 under Paul Rhoads when it wins the turnover battle.
– Chris Young was steady for Iowa State on Saturday. The senior notched seven catches for 61 yards.
– Tight end Ernst Brun continued to add to his impressive season. He finished with six catches for 76 yards, including a nifty one-handed grab in the second quarter.
– A.J. Klein led Iowa State with 13 tackles.
– Jarvis West set career highs in catches (7) and yards (99).
– Iowa State went 12-of-21 on third down against Baylor.