If there was one legitimate criticism of Art Briles’ Baylor Bears, it was this: Baylor wasn’t the same program when going on the road, and especially while playing on natural grass. They weren’t the Baylor program that has sent scoreboard operators scurrying in fear, instead performing like any other program.
According to David Ubben of FoxSportsSouthwest.com, Baylor entered Saturday night’s game at Iowa State with just a 3-11 record in games played on natural grass, and an 0-2 mark at Jack Trice Stadium, so there was some merit to that criticism.
However, the Bears appear to be moving past their road bugaboo with Saturday night’s 49-28 win over Iowa State.
It wasn’t the 71-7 shock-and-awe campaign that Baylor posted during last year’s meeting in Waco, and but it didn’t have to be. The Bears carried a 35-7 lead at halftime and cruised through the second half, never allowing the Cyclones to pull closer than 21.
Bryce Petty threw for 336 yards with a touchdown and a pick and rushed 47 yards with two more scores. Shock Linwood added 15 carries for 82 yards and three touchdowns, Corey Coleman caught a dozen passes for 154 yards and a score, and Antwan Goodley caught his first six passes of the year for 114 yards. All in all, Baylor totaled 601 yards of total offense, 32 first downs and ran 97 plays all while playing what appeared to be three-fourths speed.
Baylor put up Baylor-type numbers on the road, on – gasp! – natural grass, in a conference game, without breaking into a full sweat.
Meanwhile, the defense did what it had to do, keeping an upset-minded Iowa State at arm’s length for the entire game. Sam B. Richardson registered 311 yards of total offense, but they were a hard 311 yards – he needed 53 total plays to get there, threw an interception and took a number of hits. Outside of Richardson, three Cyclones rushed 20 times for a grand total of 28 yards.
The loss drops Iowa State to 1-3 on the year and 0-2 in the Big 12 with a trip to No. 24 Oklahoma State waiting next week, while Baylor (4-0 in consecutive years for the first time since 1937-38) visits Texas on Saturday.