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Baylor Football

Baylor Falls Flat against Iowa State in Homecoming Matchup, Loses 30-18

October 28, 2023

WACO, Texas – Baylor (3-5, 2-3) has dropped each of its four home contests to FBS opponents this season and has lost seven of its last eight dating back to 2022.

The latest defeat came to Iowa State (5-3, 4-1), 30-18, on a rainy Homecoming Saturday at McLane Stadium.

For much of the afternoon, Baylor’s offense struggled. The Bears totaled just 67 rush yards and were 4-of-14 on third-down conversions. The Cyclones, however, were 9-of-15 on third-down conversions and racked up 400 yards on offense.

Jack Mackenzie
Baylor fell behind 17-0 early in the contest and couldn’t overcome the deficit.

And despite a late comeback attempt, the Bears opened the game with their patented slow start and faced an early 17-0 deficit that was ultimately too large to overcome. 

“Everything we talk about is about starting fast and focusing and being ready to play ball when it’s time to play ball,” safety Bryson Jackson (7Sr.) said postgame. “We have to [come out fast], and it’s not something that we did.”

The quarterback-running back tandem of Blake Shapen (RJr.) and Dawson Pendergrass (Fr.) attempted to will Baylor back into the game in the second half, but with the Bears driving to make it a one-possession game late in the fourth quarter, Pendergrass was stopped at the line of scrimmage on fourth and short.

“The execution has to improve early in the game,” head coach Dave Aranda said after the loss. “It’s not in my eyes, a concern of effort or any of that; it’s the execution at the beginning of the game. We get to the end of it, and we’re trying to dig ourselves out of a hole, and that’s been a common pattern.”

On its first possession of the game, Iowa State made quick work of the struggling Bears defense. Quarterback Rocco Becht (Fr.) completed two big throws on the drive, including an easy 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jayden Higgins (Jr.) to give the Cyclones an early 7-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter, defensive lineman Cooper Lanz (RSo.) forced an Iowa State fumble, but the Baylor offense was unable to make anything of the miscue and failed to convert on a fourth and medium at the Cylones’ 34-yard line.

On the ensuing drive, Iowa State running back Eli Sanders (So.) hit the edge and cut upfield for a 27-yard gain deep into Baylor’s territory, but the Cyclones had to settle for a field goal and led 10-0 with 12:39 remaining in the second quarter.

Midway through the second, running back Dominic Richardson (Jr.) fumbled at the Bears 27-yard line, and Iowa State immediately took advantage and added another touchdown to take a 17-0 lead.

The Cyclones aimed to score again before the end of the first half, but Becht airmailed a pass over the middle of the field into the waiting hands of safety Devyn Bobby (So.). 

With a short field to go, Baylor’s offense was finally able to put points on the board with an eight-yard rushing touchdown from Pendergrass. The extra point was blocked, however, and the Bears trailed 17-6 going into the halftime locker room.

Jack Mackenzie
Iowa State was 9-of-15 on third-down conversions. In comparison, Baylor 4-of-14.

Baylor had 122 total yards on offense and averaged 3.4 yards per play in the first half. Meanwhile, Iowa State had 200 total yards and converted five of its seven third downs. 

The Cyclones opened the third quarter with a back-breaking 49-yard rushing touchdown up the gut from running back Cartevious Norton (So.). Iowa State forced a BU three-and-out and added another field goal to take a 27-6 lead midway through the third.

The Bears hit on their first big play of the afternoon on the ensuing drive when Shapen connected with wide receiver Monaray Baldwin (Jr.) on a wheel route for an electric 69-yard touchdown up the left sideline. Aranda decided to go for two after the score, instead of kicking the extra point but it was unsuccessful.

On the next possession, Becht muffed the snap on third and short to give Baylor some more life. Shapen led the offense back down the field, and Pendergrass capped off the drive with his second rushing touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, however, and the Bears trailed 27-18 with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter.


Blake Shapen 24 41 239 59 9.95 69 1 1 113.4


Dawson Pendergrass 8 37 4.63 18 2
Dominic Richardson 7 33 4.71 12 0
Richard Reese 2 -1 -.5 1 0


Monaray Baldwin 6 117 19.5 69 1
Ketron Jackson 4 27 6.8 13 0
Jordan Nabors 4 10 2.5 4 0
Drake Dabney 2 21 10.5 16 0


Devyn Bobby 11 0 0 1 0
Brooks Miller 7 0 1 0 1
Matt Jones 5 0 0 0 0
Devin Lemear 5 0 0 0 0


Isaiah Hankins 0 1 0 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Palmer Williams N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 4 37.5 1 47


Discussion from...

Baylor Falls Flat against Iowa State in Homecoming Matchup, Loses 30-18

3,954 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by csherrod
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Baylor has returned to the terrible years of Bill Beal. Most of you don't know who he was or how bad those football teams were. BU students dressed in suits and fancy dresses because no one watched the game. Everyone left at halftime. Weekends were when students traveled to Austin or College Station just to get out of Waco.

There is rock bottom then there is something worse and that's where the BOR along with Prez. Livingstone has taken ole BU.
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Coach Bill Beal at Baylor University from 1969 to 1971, compiling a record of 328.
Unfortunately, I was living in Waco then and I think Richfield, my High School football team had a better record.
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