116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Each phase of Iowa State’s football team played well at times but each phase had key mistakes and bad stretches.
Those negatives were too much against Baylor and No. 14 Iowa State lost to the Bears 31-29 Saturday in Waco, Texas.
Iowa State’s defense gave up touchdowns on the first three Baylor drives and provided little resistance.
The Bears were averaging 9 yards per play and quarterback Gerry Bohanon had 140 yards on 10-of-11 passing and two touchdowns, plus 18 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Baylor (4-0, 1-0) ended the half with 146 passing yards and 67 rushing yards, totaling 213. Coming into the game, Iowa State (2-2, 0-1) was allowing just 194 yards per game.
In typical Jon Heacock fashion, the defense upped its game in the second half. The Cyclones forced a turnover thanks to an Isheem Young forced fumble and Kym-Mani King recovery. It also allowed just 70 second-half yards and just one touchdown. Iowa State actually held Baylor to minus-4 yards in the fourth quarter.
The one touchdown Baylor got in the second half was a special teams score.
Special teams was Iowa State’s Achilles heel on Saturday.
Baylor’s Trestan Ebner, an All-America returner, returned a kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Ebner returned a punt 41 yards to the Iowa State 16-yard line. Luckily for the Cyclones, Baylor ran the ball three times and settled for a field goal. The Bears could’ve clinched the game with a touchdown.
Really the only positive for Iowa State special teams was Andrew Mevis making three field goals, all 35 yards or longer. That kept Iowa State in the game when the offense sputtered after it crossed the 50.
For the ISU offense, running back Breece Hall was spectacular throughout the game. Hall finished with 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.
Hall’s rushing touchdowns broke a couple of records for the junior running back.
It was his 16th-straight game with a touchdown, breaking Missouri’s Corby Jones’ Big 12 record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. Hall also broke the school record for most career touchdowns with 39.
On top of his impressive runs, Hall added five catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.
The touchdown he caught was the one that gave Iowa State a chance at the end of the game.
On that drive, quarterback Brock Purdy was a magician, escaping sacks and pressures and continuing to find open players and make plays. On a third-and-8 on the Baylor 41, Purdy was pressured with multiple Baylor players in his face. Purdy threw up a prayer, which was answered by Hall, who turned what would’ve been a 10-plus yard loss into a 7-yard gain.
On the next play, Hall got the first down with a 2-yard rush.
History repeated itself a few plays later when Baylor sent an all-out-blitz when Iowa State was at the 16. While back-peddling, Purdy found a wide-open Hall, who walked into the end zone to make the score 31-29 in favor of Baylor and give the Cyclones a chance.
On the ensuing two-point attempt, Purdy fumbled the snap and had to put up another prayer. This one, however, was intercepted by Baylor’s J.T. Woods, thwarting the Iowa State comeback.
Purdy finished the day 23 of 34 for 283 yards, a touchdown and the interception.
Iowa State hosts Kansas next week.