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Published September 12, 2015
Bryce Petty had the Baylor offense rolling at a point-a-minute pace again. The Bears came close to getting a rare shutout to go with it.
Petty threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 12 Bears tied a school record with their 10th straight win, beating Iowa State 71-7 on Saturday night.
The Bears, who came in averaging 70.5 points in four home games but were slowed in a come-from-behind win at Kansas State last week, led 37-0 at halftime. They also already had their nation-leading 33rd straight game of at least 400 yards before finishing with 714 — their fourth game this season with at least 700 yards.
Iowa State (1-5, 0-3 Big 12) replaced quarterback Sam Richardson with redshirt freshman Grant Rohach while Baylor pulled away in the second quarter. Richardson came back in the second half, but it didn't matter much.
The Cyclones had nine first downs and three turnovers, although they spoiled Baylor's shutout with 47 seconds left on a 27-yard pass from Rohach to DeVondrick Nealy.
"We've been waiting a long time for this kind of defense here," linebacker Bryce Hager said. "We would have liked the shutout, but we did play a really good game in all three phases. You can't really be upset about that."
Besides, the late Iowa State touchdown merely opened the door for Baylor (6-0, 3-0) to get its fourth 70-point game of the season when Corey Coleman returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards — the second special teams score of the game for the Bears.
"We have a complete team," said Petty, who has the Bears off to their best start since 1980 on a winning streak that matches one from 1936-37. "We've got to keep doing it."
Antwan Goodley had 11 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and Lache Seastrunk had 112 yards rushing a week after his streak of 100-yard games ended at eight.
Petty, the nation's leader in passing efficiency, was 23 of 31 without an interception and ran for a touchdown before he and the rest of the starters were pulled early in the fourth quarter with the Bears leading 51-0 on the way to their 17th win in their last 18 home games.
"You don't have to tell them much," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "They know they just got whipped and I know I just got whipped."
Playing their first game as the highest-ranked team in the Big 12, the Bears got their offense cranking again a week after needing two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull out a 35-25 win at Kansas State.
Now they go back to Kansas to face the Jayhawks next weekend, already eligible for a bowl game for a school-record fourth straight year.
"That's a big deal," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "Our goal has been 'six after six' since last spring, and our players accomplished it."
Baylor's first big play was actually a backward pass from Petty to Levi Norwood, who pulled up and threw a left-handed floater that Jay Lee had to wait for and thus was pulled down from behind after a 41-yard gain. Goodley got the Bears' first touchdown on a 4-yard catch three plays later.
The Bears scored again a minute later after just the second lost fumble of the season for the Cyclones at their 29. Aaron Wimberly dropped the ball as he was thrown to the turf by Byron Bonds, and Eddie Lackey recovered.
After a 26-yard pass to Tevin Reese, who had 105 yards receiving, Seastrunk scored for a 14-0 Baylor lead.
The Bears went up 20-0 on a 90-yard drive to a 21-yard field by Aaron Jones, and the Cyclones looked like they were in trouble on the next possession when Rohach came out to take the first snap of his career.
Wimberly went 18 yards on Rohach's first play, but that was the only first down before a quick 17-point burst to finish the half by the Bears, who came in leading the nation at 715 yards and 63 points per game.
The spurt started with Seastrunk's weaving 48-yard run up the sideline to set up his own 2-yard plunge and finish a 94-yard drive in eight plays that took just 1:52. After a three-and-out from Iowa State, Petty found Goodley wide open in the middle of the field for a 36-yard touchdown on fourth-and-6.
The Bears got the ball back at their 32 and went 34 yards in 23 seconds without a timeout on three straight passes from Petty to Goodley, who had nine catches for 138 yards in the first half. Jones kicked a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
Richardson and Rohach ended up splitting the playing time for Iowa State. They combined for just 133 yards passing with an interception apiece and five sacks between them. Richardson went down three times, and Baylor had 10 tackles for loss.
The Cyclones finished with just 41 yards rushing because they had 47 yards in losses. They had 174 yards total offense, with 57 coming on the late scoring drive.
"It was very apparent, the first two drives nerves kind of got to me," Rohach said. "As the game went on, I got more reps, they slowed down for me, which is nice. I didn't like the outcome."