Offense I’m going to cheat a little bit here, and just say Iowa State’s run blocking. Really the only thing that wasn’t working at full capacity against UNLV was Iowa State’s run game. Breece Hall has gotten his fair share of touchdowns, but is yet to rush for over 100 yards in a game this season after doing it almost weekly lasts season. Iowa has a legitimate run stopping defense, but coming into the season I would’ve put money on Breece Hall having two 100 yard games by week 3. The O-Line does take some time to gel, and hopefully it can find itself as we start conference play. If they can make some holes for Breece Hall, that’ll make this offense a whole lot harder to stop.
Defense As the proud president of the TJ Tampa fan club, it seems only right that I pick him here. Datrone Young was out against UNLV because he was ‘banged up’. Iowa State injuries staying very non-descript as always. It was next man up and TJ Tampa played fantastic. Iowa State hasn’t given a timetable for Young’s return, but even if he is back there might be a cornerback competition for the starting spot on the outside. Tampa is in his second year, and could grow into a big play threat in the secondary. I’m telling ya, he has the ‘it’ factor.
Offense Baylor has two running backs with over three hundred yards, through three games. Now you have to weigh strength of schedule into that equation, but that is an impressive stat nonetheless. Iowa has a great run game, good o-line, Tyler Goodson is a very talented running back, and Iowa State all but negated their run game. Field position aside, Goodson only had 21 carries for 55 yards coming out to around 2.5 yards per carry.
Trestan Ebner and Abram Smith have almost equal attempts through three games, but Smith has 5 touchdowns to Ebner’s one. Another thing to keep any eye on, Ebner is an explosive return man on special teams (sorry Matt Nelson in advance) which could be a breaking point in this game. If Iowa State controls the run, limits special teams yardage, we’re in good shape.
Defense Looking at the numbers, there’s no runaway favorite here. An oddity, 10 different players for Baylor all have one pass deflection. This defense is opportunistic they’ve forced two fumbles, and had three interceptions already. They’re also allowing only 12 PPG but the offenses they’ve faced are Texas State, Texas Southern, and the worst of all three, Kansas.
I think it’s hard to pick a sole defender here, because the defense hasn’t really had to come up big this season. They had a scare in their first game, but the last two games have been home cookin’. Iowa State’s offense should pose more of a threat than the first three they’ve faced.