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Opposing Player to Watch vs. Baylor: Terrel Bernard

The junior linebacker leads the conference in tackles per game

NCAA Football: Baylor at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The sun has set on yet another Brocktober, and Iowa State’s road in November hasn’t been as forgiving in recent years. The Cyclones are 6-6 in the month since 2016, and with Baylor coming to town on Saturday, one of the league’s most talented defensive players stands in the way.

Enter Terrel Bernard.

Bernard has the ability to wreak absolute havoc on the Cyclones’ ability to establish any sort of offensive rhythm. He leads the Big 12 with 11.8 tackles per game, has recorded 3.5 sacks, and his 29 solo tackles actually exceed Mike Rose’s 28, despite having played in two fewer games.

On top of it all, Bernard has already shown how much of a playmaker he can be. In addition to a jaw-dropping interception against West Virgina this season, his 2019 highlight reel speaks for itself.

Simply put, Bernard is a beast who has potential to disrupt both Brock Purdy and Breece Hall at any point during the game. He earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors last week after a recording 19 tackles in Baylor’s 27-16 loss to Texas. That included two tackles for loss and a sack.

Overall, Baylor’s defense has performed pretty well in its four games to this point, allowing just 25.3 points per game, good enough for third-best in the conference. The Bears’ key to victory likely rests on the shoulders of their playmaking linebacker.