Week 9 - Baylor at Iowa State

Posted Oct 26, 2012

Week 9 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Baylor at Iowa State

Baylor (3-3) at Iowa State (4-3) Oct 27, 7:00, FOX Sports Net

Here's The Deal: Back in the old days of the Big 12, this might have been a battle of basement dwellers for the honor and distinction of being the league's worst team. This year, the new and improved teams in the new and improved conference are fighting for a bowl spot, which now is expected at two places that don't have the richest of recent bowl histories.

Iowa State still gets the Kansas layup to ensure one win, but the other three games against Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. On a two game losing streak and after losing three games in the last four, it's a must to come up with a good performance and a solid win so everyone can relax a bit. The Big 12 title is out of the equation, but anything less than at least six wins would be a disastrous season for a veteran team that came into the year with its sights set high.

Baylor also gets to play Kansas, coming up next week to kick off a run of three home games in the final four. 0-3 in Big 12 play, the offense has been phenomenal, leading the Big 12 in scoring and leading the nation in passing, but the defense is next-level bad ranking last in the country in total defense and scoring defense. It has been a disastrous month for the miserable Bear D, but this might finally be a chance to take a breath against an Iowa State offense that doesn't put up massive numbers.

The two teams have only played ten times with Baylor winning three of the last four.

Why Baylor Might Win: Can Iowa State keep up the pace? The Cyclones have played a slew of decent defenses, but the offense isn't exactly built to put up points in bunches and have mostly come up with the big numbers when the defense helps the cause with turnovers. The attack has sputtered and coughed on the ground lately, and the 73 passing yards against Texas Tech weren't exactly stellar. There's a chance Baylor can get up early with a few decent drives to force the Cyclones to play catchup, and that's when the picks could come. ISU has thrown 11 interceptions with at least one in every game. Fortunately …

Why Iowa State Might Win: Baylor's defense, among all the other problems, has stopped taking the ball away. The defense was awful over the first three weeks, but at least it managed to come up with big plays with an impressive ten takeaways. The fun has stopped with no turnovers forced in Big 12 play and lots and lots and lots of yards allowed. The 807 given up to West Virginia got the most national noise, but Baylor has allowed more than 500 yards to every FBS team on the slate, and gave up 411 to Sam Houston State. Iowa State's offensive line hasn't been bad, and it's been great at times in pass protection, but this is the week it has to line up and blast away with the running game. Baylor's defensive front has been a nightmare, and if the Cyclones are ready to get physical, the production will come.

What To Watch Out For: Why is the Baylor defense having so many problems? It's not very good, but it's also depleted in the secondary. The defensive backfield was already without starting corner Demetri Goodson, who suffered a broken arm against West Virginia and isn't expected to be back for a while, and now No. 1 corner K.J. Morton is likely going to be out after getting hit with a groin injury against Texas last week. Throw in the absence of safety Mike Hicks with a knee injury, and there are a slew of big problems that Iowa State has to take advantage of.

What Will Happen: Grind, grind, make the third down throw, move on. That's what Iowa State will do as the offensive line controls the game from the start, and the passing attack, from whichever quarterback gets a turn, will pick apart a BU defensive backfield that can't get a stop to get the D off the field.

CFN Prediction: Iowa State 34 … Baylor 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Iowa State -2.5 O/U: 70.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Girl, 1 – Don't Trust The B In Apt. 23): 3