Iowa State Falls to Another Ranked Team

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) looks for running room past Iowa State defensive end Willie Scott (50) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune-Herald, Rod Aydelotte)


By James Steward

WACO, Texas (AP) — Iowa State was on the verge of jumping into the Top 25 two weeks ago.

The Cyclones are now reeling after consecutive lopsided losses to ranked teams.

Coach Paul Rhoads remained optimistic after Iowa State lost 49-26 to No. 25 Baylor on Saturday night.

"This is a pivotal week for our football team," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "I think I've got a football team with young men of great character. This will be a fun week to be a coach."

Iowa State (3-2, 0-2 Big 12) opened the season with three comeback victories in the fourth quarter.

The Cyclones haven't had a chance for late heroics the last two weeks.

Iowa State had two fumbles and an interception in the first quarter against No. 11 Texas last week. The Cyclones went on to lose 37-14.

On Saturday night, Baylor (4-1, 1-1) rushed for 391 yards and led comfortably for most of the second half.

Heisman Trophy contender Robert Griffin III ran for a season-high 107 yards and Terrance Ganaway rushed for a career-high 200 yards and three scores to power Baylor's offense.

"There's a reason they're 4-1 and a Top-25 football team," Rhoads said. "They've got great skill and they play very good football."

Iowa State's Darius Reynolds had 178 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and Steele Jantz threw for three scores.

Tevin Elliott provided the key defensive play for the Bears, returning a fumble 86 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

"I haven't run like that since I was in high school," Elliott said.

Ganaway's 3-yard TD run gave Baylor a 28-14 advantage in the third, but the Cyclones were deep in Bears territory after Jantz connected with Reynolds on a 57-yard pass.

Jantz was running to his left when Gary Mason Jr. stripped the Iowa State quarterback. Elliott scooped up the loose ball and ran into the end zone untouched to give Baylor a 35-14 lead with 6:18 left in the third.

After a review of the play, it was ruled the ball popped out just before Jantz's knee hit the ground.

It was second key booth review that went in Baylor's favor.

In the second quarter, it was ruled on the field that Griffin lost a fumble. However, the play was overturned when replay officials said Griffin's arm was in motion before he dropped the ball.

Griffin threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright on the next play to tie the game at 14.

"Anything that has to do with officiating," Rhoads said. "I'm just gonna to leave that be."

Iowa State did not make any of its players available to the media after the game.

Even though Griffin hit on his first 11 passes to start the game, Baylor didn't score in the opening quarter because it lost two fumbles. Griffin's first incompletion came with 28 seconds remaining in the first quarter when he threw the ball away while scrambling away from pressure.

Baylor's first touchdown came on Griffin's 1-yard sneak. Griffin then dodged his near fumble and threw the TD pass to Wright.

The Bears took a 21-14 advantage on a 58-yard drive, all of which came on running plays. Ganaway, who lost a fumble in the first quarter, had a 13-yard carry to set up Glasco Martin's 1-yard plunge into the end zone.

Ganaway also had TD runs of 2 and 22 yards in the fourth quarter.

Iowa State's James White rushed for 148 yards, including a 76-yard TD in the third.

Jantz and Reynolds hooked up three times for 76 yards on Iowa State's opening drive. Reynolds caught a 10-yard TD pass to put the Cyclones on top 7-0.

Jantz also threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Reid Branderhorst in the second quarter.
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