Gridiron staff picks: Baylor


Matt Belinson, sports editor (3-0)

Iowa State 28, Baylor 16

While I think last week’s beatdown of UNLV was fun to watch, I don’t think it will hold much stock for how Iowa State’s offense will be the rest of the way. The Runnin’ Rebels are bad with a capital ‘B’.

And even though Baylor’s 3-0 record may seem a bit inflated, I think the Bears will present some challenges for the Cyclones. 

Baylor has a veteran secondary who has already scored twice off takeaways this season and caused Brock Purdy issues last year in Ames. I don’t think it’ll be a three-interception day for Purdy again, but I have the Cyclones pulling away late to start Big 12 play 1-0.

Sam Stuve, assistant sports editor (2-1)

Iowa State 37, Baylor 20 

After putting up 48 points last week against UNLV, I think Iowa State will have another strong offensive showing, this time against a conference foe. 

I think Saturday’s matchup between Iowa State and Baylor will feature a significant amount of rushing attempts by each team.

The Bears rushing attack has gained nearly 1,000 yards in three games (971 to be exact) this season and their offensive line has allowed just one sack in the first part of the season. Iowa State’s defense on the other hand is allowing under 50 yards per game on the ground and is easily the biggest challenge that the Baylor offense has had so far this season.

The Cyclones have preseason All-American Breece Hall at running back, while the Bears have Abram Smith and Travis Ebner, who both have over 300 yards rushing this season (366 for Smith and 317 for Ebner).

I’m thinking that both teams will have at least one rushing touchdown. However, I think the Cyclones defense will create a couple of turnovers and the passing game will help put the game out of reach in fourth quarter, giving the Cyclones a 17 point win over the Bears, and starting conference play with a victory. 

James Powell, assistant sports editor (2-1)

Iowa State 24, Baylor 21

Yes, I have this game being closer than most people would expect. I think, while they’ve played subpar competition, that 3-0 is 3-0 and cannot be ignored. Baylor has a veteran team on defense, which counters Iowa State’s clearly weaker side of the ball, the offense. Iowa State is likely more talented at most positions, but Baylor’s speedy, experienced defense will give Purdy and Co. some problems.

I believe Iowa State’s stout defense will continue, but Baylor will be able to pick up some yards on the ground. With Breece Hall on the Cyclone side of things in the run game, this will be a low-scoring, win-in-the-trenches game.

Also factoring in that Baylor is at home, I think this game will be close all the way through. But Connor Mevis, praised by Cyclone faithful for actually being able to kick a ball into the end zone on kickoffs, will be the hero. He absolutely destroyed a football for a 54-yard field goal against UNLV, and he’ll need to thaw out his veins this Sunday after discovering the ice within them as he kicks a game-winning field goal with 30 or less seconds to go. 

Eleanor Chalstrom, lifestyle editor

Iowa State 14, Baylor 7

It should be noted that I am not big on football. My final score prediction is mostly based on multiples of seven and what the sports editors taught me in their staff picks. 

While football isn’t my game, fashion is. As a lifestyle editor, I can confidently say that in uniforms debate the Cyclones have already won. The tacky green and yellow uniforms make Baylor players resemble Subway employees rather than a winning team. 

I am aware that uniforms have little to do with the game. But, when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good you play great. With those calculations, Iowa State has it in the bag!