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The Greatest Cyclone Performance Against: Baylor

We take our first look back into the Paul Rhoads era.

Oklahoma v Iowa State Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

It seems like we’ve added a second Hate Week over the past couple years in the form of Baylor. Obviously, we’re not huge fans after what happened last year with Josh Knipfel David Montgomery getting ejected and the brawl as a whole. But, it’s a new year and both squads returned a lot of talent and are looking to get started on the right foot in Big 12 play. The teams have only matched up 17 times, Baylor getting the best of us 9 times. Iowa State currently holds a 2 game win streak against the Bears, but we go a few more years back to the Paul Rhoads days to find this weeks greatest ever performance against Baylor.

Baylor v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Iowa State is coming off of what most fans would consider a successful 2011 season, when the Cyclones beat Iowa in triple overtime, put a beating on Texas Tech in Lubbock, and upset #2 ranked Oklahoma State. They would however lose the Pinstripe Bowl to Rutgers, but all in all not too shabby of a season at all in the eyes of ‘Clone fans.

Oklahoma State v Iowa State Photo by Reese Strickland/Getty Images

In 2012, Iowa State returned a good portion of its key players from that 2011 team, including senior quarterback Steele Jantz. Josh Lenz would lead a solid receiving core, including Aaron Horne and Jarvis West, while the backfield also had some talent between Shontrelle Johnson and James White, along with power-back Jeff Woody. The defense would also feature one of - if not thee - best linebacker duo in the country in A.J. Klein and Jake Knott.

After starting the season hot with a 4-1 start, the ‘Clones dropped 2 straight and looked to get on the winning track before the calendar flipped to November. After the wheels sort of coming off on the offensive side of the ball the previous week at Oklahoma State, there was a big question mark at quarterback. Do you start the guy who has had the hot hand in redshirt-sophomore Jared Barnett? Do you start the guy who was advertised as ISU’s guy, Steele Jantz? Do you look at the freshman, Sam Richardson? Paul Rhoads would go with Jantz for the foreseeable future, and would not look back (Until a few weeks later when Sam B. Richardson would get the nod.). Now, let’s get to that memorable performance.

Iowa State v TCU Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Iowa State is playing in its “Cyntennial” Homecoming game, marking the programs 100th homecoming game. The game got off to an interesting start, as most Paul Rhoads games were described as. This one he tried to catch the Bears off guard, opening up with a surprise onside kick that Baylor would recover, setting them up with a short field from the get-go. Jantz would finish the first quarter with a quiet statline of 9-15 with 62 yards, making fans wonder if maybe he should not be the guy in the backfield. Jared Barnett would enter on the first drive of the second quarter, but would fumble his second snap, ending his night.

Steele would lead the offense to several productive drives in the second quarter, scoring twice, hooking up with Albert Gary from 36 yards out and connecting with Jarvis West on a 7 yard score to close out the half.

Baylor v Iowa State Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Jeff Woody would reel in a rare reception and take advantage for an 8 yard touchdown, putting Iowa State up 28-14. Steele Jantz would lead one more Cyclone drive to the endzone, finding Jarvis West for the 3rd time of the evening on a 22 yard touchdown, putting the Cyclones up 35-14. The Whirly Birds would go on to please this homecoming-crowd while getting a win, 35-21.

Steele Jantz would finish the game 36-52 with 381 yards to go with his 5 passing touchdowns. Both the 36 completions and 5 touchdown passes would tie school records.

Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

The team went on to finish the season 6-7, still struggling at the quarterback spot throughout the end of the season. Sam Richardson would eventually take over, but would struggle (though it was rumored he was ill) in an eventual Liberty Bowl game loss to previous foe Tulsa.