College Football: Iowa State vs Baylor: Week 4 preview, how to watch, more

College football season is heating up and Saturday afternoon we have a massive Big 12 showdown in Iowa.

# 17 Baylor Bears (2-1) v Iowa State Cyclones (3-0)

@ Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA

How to watch:

  • Date: Saturday 24th September
  • Time: 12pm ET
  • Channel: ESPN

Betting Statistics:

Pairing:

The Cyclones are looking to extend their winning streak as they open the Big 12 against Baylor on Saturday.

For the first time since 2012, Iowa State opened its season with a three-game winning streak. Another win would bring the Cyclones to the most wins to start their season in over 20 years. The team that stands in the way of the State of Iowa is none other than the Big 12 champions of 2021.

Historically, the rivalry between Iowa State and Baylor has been even, with Baylor leading the way with an 11-9 record. However, the match tends to favor the home team, with both teams having a winning record in their respective stadiums.

Baylor got the best of Iowa State in 2021 en route to a distraught Big 12 Championship victory over Oklahoma State. With Baylor at the top of the conference ahead of the season, the game against Iowa State looked like a textbook win for the Bears.

Now, as each team has gained ground in the first three games of the season, the State of Iowa looks like it can give Baylor a run for its money. Iowa State showed dominant performances against SEMO and Ohio and even defeated Iowa at home. The attack looks as explosive as ever and the defense blocked the teams left and right.

Baylor started his season in a very different way from Iowa State, scoring comfortable wins over Albany and Texas State. The bears are currently 2-1, with the only loss coming to a ranked BYU team in week two. With just how dominant the bears are on both sides of the ball, it’s clear why they’re ranked in the top 25 college football teams.

Even though Baylor is ranked higher than Iowa State and has seen more success recently, the teams tend to keep the series close and competitive. Baylor took a win over Iowa State last year by just two points when the Cyclones traveled to Waco, Texas. However, this time around the home advantage will play in favor of the state of Iowa.

The last time the State of Iowa lost to Baylor in Ames was in 2016. Not only that, the State of Iowa currently has an 11-game winning streak against the Big 12 opponents at home. Jack Trice Stadium is a tough place for any team to play for and Saturday should put Baylor to the test.

Both teams found similar success on both sides of the ball. The State of Iowa has put an end to questions about the inexperience of the crime after several successful weeks. Quarterback Hunter Dekkers looks talented as advertised, while the running back room shouldn’t be short of production with Jirehl Brock now leading the charge. Xavier Hutchinson is also solidifying his legacy as an elite wide receiver as he is on track for his best season, scoring five touchdowns in three games, drawing his 2021 season total.

Baylor’s offense also didn’t have much trouble putting points on the scoreboard, scoring more touchdowns in every game and keeping the match against a nearby ranked BYU. The running back room also showed great depth in the first three games, with three running backs rushing for over 20 snaps throughout the year and each back rushing for multiple touchdowns.

Although both teams possess the ability to score at will, the main star of the show for both teams is the defense. Across three games, Iowa State leads the Big 12 in total defense, with 234.3 yards per game, and scoring in defense, with nine points thanks to a Big 12-best eight takeaway. Nationally, Iowa is in the top ten in total defense and fifth in fast defense.

Baylor’s success in 2021 was largely due to his elite defense and there is no sign of a slowdown in the defense. Baylor is close to the Iowa State in total defense, finishing third in the Big 12, just behind the state of Kansas.

The opening of the Big 12 will prove to be an important match for both teams, as they will try to start the Big 12 game on the right foot. With how the teams are too, it could prove to be a battle of wills in Ames, Iowa.

Players to know:

O’Rien Vance – ISU, LB

Statistics for the 2022 season: 14 tackles, a lot, two forced fumbles

Vance has been a staple of the Iowa state defense for years. As Vance moved into a leadership role in the linebacker group, he sought to make an impact across the board. So far, his 2022 season shows he wants to make his mark before he leaves the team.

In each of the last two games, Vance did great at crucial moments with a strip sack in each. Now, with the State of Iowa opening its Big 12 list with Baylor at home, expect Vance to make a key contribution to the elite defense of the State of Iowa.

Anthony Johnson Jr. – ISU, S

Statistics for the 2022 season: five solo tackles, one interception

Johnson took his salvation in full stride during the start of the 2022 season. Following his performance against Ohio, he received praise from Campbell for how well he performed in the film. Not many other securities, or defensive players, are playing at such a high level as Johnson.

Along with a postcard day against Ohio, Johnson secured his first career interception, which would be slow in coming. With tough games in sight, Johnson will need to continue making an impact and help the Iowa State defense stop explosive attacks in the Big 12.

Richard Reese – BU, RB

Statistics for the 2022 season: 237 yards, five touchdowns, 7.0 yards per carry

When you look at who to watch on Baylor’s attack, it’s hard not to want to notice quarterback Blake Shapen. In the first three games, Shapen proved he can compete with other top quarterbacks in the conference. However, one thing stands out above the passing game, and that is the running game.

Baylor was explosive on the ground, piercing each of the three defenses they faced. With some players taking part in running back snaps, the player who showed he had the most to prove was Reese. Against the state of Texas, Reese had a career day, running for 156 yards and three touchdowns. If the Cyclones defense can’t find a way to curb Reese, there’s a good chance he can cause the Cyclones trouble all day.

Key injuries:

  • Darren Wilson, State of Iowa WR: Knee injury. Questionable for Saturday.

For more college football information, like this Iowa State preview, visit amNYSports.com

Iowa State College Soccer
Iowa State WR Sean Shaw Jr. vs Ohio (Photo: Jacob Rice at the Iowa State Daily)

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