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AMES, Iowa – Baylor is so skilled and efficient on offense that the Bears don't need any help from their opponents.
Iowa State offered up plenty anyway.
A long series of missteps that included shoddy tackling, a turnover, overthrown passes, too many three-and-outs and an onside kick that went awry doomed any chance of the Cyclones staying with the seventh-ranked Bears, who cruised to a 49-28 victory on Saturday night.
Iowa State certainly was more competitive than in last year's 71-7 loss at Baylor. But there's still a big talent gap between the two programs — and it showed.
"One of our goals was to start positively and we did that," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "Being down 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, we had a chance to be competitive in this game and we did not follow up on that. That was obvious."
Bryce Petty threw for 336 yards and a touchdown and ran for a pair of TDs for the Bears (4-0, 1-0 Big 12). Shock Linwood added three rushing TDs for Baylor, which has started 4-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 76 years.
"It's a fast pace against Baylor and you've got to really communicate," Iowa State linebacker Jevohn Miller said. "We did communicate sometimes but not always. In this league, if you don't play your best game, you're not going to have a chance to win."
Sam Richardson threw for 212 yards and ran for 99 more for Iowa State (1-3, 0-2), which fell to 0-3 at home. Richardson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another — a 47-yard scamper that was Iowa State's longest of the season.
But he overthrew three receivers who were behind the defense and made a terrible decision when he forced a left-handed pass that Orion Stewart intercepted on the first play of the second quarter. Petty hit Corey Coleman on a 25-yard TD four plays later for a 21-7 lead, and the Bears were off and running toward a 35-7 halftime edge.
The Cyclones did make things interesting for a brief stretch in the third quarter, closing to 42-21. But Petty found Coleman for a 42-yard reception that set up Petty's 1-yard plunge.
"This Baylor team, in my opinion, is better than it was a year ago," Rhoads said. "To do some of the things we did against them, we improved certainly."
The return of receivers Coleman (hamstring) and Antwan Goodley (quadriceps) made Baylor's offense more potent than ever. The pair combined for 18 catches for 268 yards and a touchdown.
The high-flying Bears now have 10 touchdown drives in which the yards outnumbered the seconds it took to reach the end zone.
But Baylor's offense actually looked a bit flustered at first.
That lasted for one series.
Baylor followed a rare three-and-out with a 67-yard scoring drive that lasted just 2:04 and was capped by Linwood's 2-yard run. Petty then hurtled over Iowa State's Kamari Cotton-Moya on a 16-yard scoring run that made it 14-0 with 7:51 left in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Iowa State went three and out on its first three possessions and had six three-and-outs in all in the first half.
Richardson answered Petty's touchdown with an 11-yard TD pass to Dondre Daley, but the Cyclones would trail by four touchdowns before they got on the board again with Richardson's TD run.
Iowa State then tried an onside kick that sailed out of bounds and Baylor took advantage, with Linwood scoring from 7 yards out for a 42-14 lead.