Cyclones make history: What we learned from Iowa State’s 28-14 win over Baylor

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AMES, Ia. — Iowa State made some history Saturday on a chilly and eventful afternoon at Jack Trice Stadium.

With a 28-14 win over Baylor, the Cyclones now have their first single-season five-game Big 12 Conference winning streak in program history. 

This was a wire-to-wire win, although Iowa State didn’t look 14 points better than the Bears, who were able to carve up the Cyclones’ defense like few others this season.

Here’s what we learned from a win that was closer than it appeared:

Brock Purdy keeps doing, well, Brock Purdy things: This isn’t exactly anything new for the true freshman from Gilbert, Arizona. But it’s worth rehashing.

Purdy’s final line Saturday: 18-for-23 for 230 yards and a touchdown; 12 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown; and a two-point conversion catch in the third quarter.

His legs were especially clutch in the first half against Baylor, the half that proved to be the major difference in this game. Purdy scampered in from 2 yards out for Iowa State’s second touchdown in the second quarter. More importantly, he picked up four first downs on the ground, including a 19-yard gain on third-and-13 to save Iowa State’s first drive and a 4-yard gain on a third-and-3 at midfield late in the second quarter. 

In the air, one particular play stood out: On third-and-8 from Baylor’s 11, Purdy fired a pass over a linebacker’s outstretched arm and through a window around three defensive backs for a touchdown to Deshaunte Jones to give Iowa State an early 7-0 lead.

A bold throw from a freshman who continues to impress.

RELATED: Iowa State is bowl eligible and has its sights set on more

Throwing punches leads to easy ejections. Every time: David Montgomery got ejected in the third quarter as a result of a scuffle that drew security onto the field and stopped the game for about five minutes.

Baylor’s Greg Roberts, who was also ejected, threw a punch at Montgomery in front of a referee. In response, Montgomery lunged and appeared to jab right back.

Even though Roberts was the apparent instigator, this was an easy ejection for both players. Throw a punch, you get tossed.

As a result, Montgomery could be out for Iowa State’s first half versus Texas next week. Big 12 offices review all fights and will have the ultimate say.

FIRST THOUGHTS: Montgomery, Iowa State defense put up fight in Baylor win

Iowa State’s defense employed just enough bend-but-don’t-break to win: The Cyclones were out-gained 505 yards to 355 yards and Baylor out-possessed them 34 minutes, 59 seconds to 25:01. Yet, Iowa State won, thanks in large part to being more efficient with the ball — and its bend-but-don’t-break defense in the first half.

Baylor just couldn’t finish possessions early on.

Baylor’s first drive: 12 plays, 47 yards, 7:39, punt from Iowa State’s 31 … 0 points.

Baylor’s second drive: nine plays, 56 yards, 3:35, missed 31-yard field goal … goose egg.

Baylor’s third drive: 12 plays, 66 yards, 5:21, missed 29-yard field goal … nada.

Mike Rose and Jamahl Johnson combined for an 8-yard sack that, along with a holding penalty, derailed the Bears’ first drive. De’Monte Ruth stopped Jalen Hurd for a 1-yard gain and the secondary forced an incompletion on the ensuing third-and-8 to stop the second drive. Greg Eisworth forced an incompletion on a key third-and-8 (that was originally ruled a catch) to stall Baylor’s third drive.

The Bears were able to rip off big-chunk gains against Iowa State, piling up 11 gains of 15-plus yards. But bend-don’t-break can win you games … along with the help of some missed field goals and a fourth-quarter ejection of Baylor’s starting quarterback.

San Antonio is paying attention to Ames: In attendance Saturday were representatives from the Alamo Bowl, played every year in the Alamadome in San Antonio.

The game features first-choice schools from the Big 12 and Pac 12, after any College Football Playoff selections. (That would be just about impossible for the Pac 12, and it doesn’t look very likely for the Big 12.)

Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at mbain@dmreg.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

Source : https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/college/iowa-state/football/2018/11/10/cyclones-football-iowa-state-brock-purdy-baylor-bears-big-12-conference-football-matt-campbell/1957010002/