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No. 17 Baylor defeats Iowa State, 31-24

The Bears secure the win in Ames for the first time since 2016.

AMES, Iowa — No. 17 Baylor University opened conference play on the road in a late-morning contest at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday. 

The Bears were looking for road redemption after falling in a double overtime loss to No. 19 BYU two weeks ago. 

Baylor took down Iowa State 31-29 last year at McLane Stadium, but had not won at the home of the Cyclones since 2016.

Iowa State was plagued with penalties within minutes of game play. Defensive back Beau Freyler was ejected from the game after being called for targeting and the Cyclones then suffered an unnecessary roughness call to bring the Bears to another first down. 

It appeared that Taye McWilliams was not active for the Bears. 

On the 6 minute opening drive, the run game worked the Bears up the field positioning Baylor for a Blake Shapen to Ben Sims 12-yard touchdown for the first six on the board. 

The Cyclones answered right back with a 29-yard Xavier Hutchinson reception to bring Iowa State to the 1-yard line. On 4th and goal, Jirehl Brock catches a 2-yard floater from Hunter Dekkers and falls into the end zone to make the score, 7-7. 

In the second quarter, John Mayers kicks a 24-yard field goal for his first attempt of the season to bring the Bears to a three point advantage, 10-7.

Iowa State was plagued once again by penalties in the second, suffering a 15-yard personal foul to bring the Bears to a first down with 8:54 left on the clock. 

Another flag on the play with a facemask call on Cyclones' Will McDonald hurts this Iowa State defense. 

The Bears took advantage of the penalty calls. On 3rd-and-goal to cap a 9-play, 70-yard drive, Blake Shapen threw a 1-yard reception to Dillon Doyle for another Bears' touchdown to extend the lead 17-7. This marks Doyle's first touchdown since last year's BYU game. 

RELATED: Preview | Baylor begins Big 12 play against Iowa State

With 0:46 left in first half play, Dekkers scanned downfield with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Dimitri Stanley for another Cyclones six to finish the half, 17-14. 

The Bears came out strong to start second half play as Dekkers pass was intercepted by Devin Neal at the Iowa State 36. 

Another 15-yard penalty for the Cyclones brought the Bears to a first down with 6:56 left in the third. 

Richard Reese has been key to this Baylor offense continuing his performance with a 19-yard touchdown run to bring the Bears to a 24-14 lead. 

The Iowa State defense continued to dominate sacking Shapen under center for a loss of 10 yards to end the third quarter. 

With the second pick of the game, Baylor's Christian Morgan intercepts a pass by Dekkers to give the Bears the ball on the 36. 

Baylor took advantage of this takeaway with a little bit of trickery on the offensive side of the ball. Qualan Jones flipped it to Seth Jones who then flipped it back to Shapen as he launched it downfield for a 38-yard reception to Galvin Homes sitting in the end zone. Bears continue the lead 31-14.

The Cyclones answered back with a 36-yard touchdown run from Jirehl Brock who fumbles it and recovers it in the end zone to make it a 10-point game, 31-21.

The Bears leaned on the run game to try to eat away the clock in the final minutes of the game. 

It wasn't over for the Cyclones as they made their way up the field. After a 50-yard catch for Jaylin Noel, the Bears protected the end zone with a key stop forcing a field goal for Iowa State. 

After an attempted onside kick, Baylor's Matt Jones recovers the ball with 0:54 seconds in game play to secure the win, 31-24.

With two all season before this Saturday, the Bears doubled their takeaways in Ames adding two more to the tally. Converting both of these interceptions to scores was the performance the Bears were looking for as they were going up against an Iowa State team with eight so far this season. Blake Shapen also showed his performance under pressure as the Bears were able to break through a dominant Cyclones defense to secure the win in Ames. 

The Bears are now 4-8 on the road under Aranda with three of those wins coming in 2021. 

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