With the clock winding down against Kansas State, Baylor coach Art Briles called quarterback Bryce Petty to his side to make sure they were on the same page.
The Bears usually run the fastest tempo offense in college football, but Briles wanted Petty to understand they needed to drain time off the clock to seal the win in the fourth quarter.
“I’m trying to get his attention, and he runs over to me, and I’m pointing at the clock,” Briles said. “Bryce says, ‘We’re going to break (the huddle) at 10 (seconds) and snap it at 2.’ I said, ‘You got it, that’s it.’ That was reassuring not only to me, but the guys around him. He really did a great job.”
Briles believes Petty’s poise in such a high-pressure situation in Baylor’s first road game showed how mature he’s become in his first year as the starting quarterback.
The No. 12 Bears grew up a lot in their 35-25 win over Kansas State last weekend in Manhattan as they scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. They hope the experience will help them become a better team as they return home to play Iowa State in Saturday’s 6 p.m. homecoming game at Floyd Casey Stadium.
While the Bears would like to continue their trend of blowing out teams at home, winning a close game on the road should pay dividends.
“I told the guys the whole time that I just knew we weren’t going to lose that game,” Petty said. “It was the confidence in knowing we have a really good team. Kansas State is a very tough place to play and it gets loud. We were put in a position that we hadn’t been before, and to come out of that really shows us where we’re at.”
Safe at home
Baylor (5-0, 2-0) has dominated in its four home wins by a combined score of 282-65, and can become bowl eligible for the fourth straight season with a win. Though the Bears will be heavy favorites to win their fifth straight home game, Briles doesn’t think that beating Iowa State is a given.
The Cyclones (1-4) have lost their first two Big 12 games to Texas and Texas Tech by a combined eight points. The Longhorns were fortunate to get out of Ames with a 31-30 win on Oct. 3 after the officials ruled that Johnathan Gray didn’t fumble at the goal line in the final minutes. Quarterback Case McCoy scored on a 1-yard run to give Texas the win.
Texas Tech amassed 666 total yards against Iowa State last weekend, but barely hung on for a 42-35 win in Lubbock.
“Any time you get into conference play anything can happen because you have a history with each other,” Briles said. “We’re playing people we’ve played against a long time. We know a lot of their players and we know their schemes. The last two times we’ve played them we’re 1-2. They’re a good football team and a tough football team.”
Those two recent losses against the Cyclones have both come in Ames, including last year’s 35-21 decision on a cold night. That loss still sticks in the memories of the Baylor veterans, and they’d like to bounce back with a win Saturday.
“It motivates me a lot because that was one of the worst games I played last year,” Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon said. “They’ll feel like they have nothing to lose. We’re expecting all kinds of trick plays, and we know they’re going to test our secondary. Last year, when we went up to Ames we didn’t do a good job in the secondary. But we’re going to show them we’re not the same secondary as last year.”
Facing mobile QBs
In the win over Kansas State, quarterback Daniel Sams burned Baylor’s defense for 199 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The Bears will play against another mobile quarterback this weekend as Iowa State’s Sam Richardson has passed for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 243 yards.
Against the Red Raiders, Richardson hit 15 of 38 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 49 yards on 11 carries.
“He’s a dual-threat quarterback and a good player,” Briles said. “He finished up for them last year and has been the guy this year. They’re a well balanced football team, and do a great job of recruiting.”
Iowa State’s defense ranks last in the Big 12, allowing 447.6 total yards, 267.2 passing yards and 29.8 points per game. It’s easy to see why Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads is worried facing a Baylor offense that leads the nation with 715.4 yards and 63.4 points per game.
Trying to devise a plan to stop Petty, running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin and receivers Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley would keep any coach up at night.
“The crazy thing is that you circle who are you going to stop, and you end up with a whole page full of names,” Rhoads said. “They line up and play with fast players, and it’s exciting to watch them. They’ve got so many weapons that it’s hard to point out one above another. They’ve accomplished absurd numbers in yardage and points with relative ease.”
BEAR FACT: Baylor’s Oct. 26 contest against Kansas on the road in Lawrence has been set for 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.