By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor football could not pick up a win in the last home game of the season, falling 23-13 to Iowa State at McLane Stadium on a night where the Bears honored 13 seniors on the team.
Head coach Matt Rhule said the seniors let all their emotions out after the loss, citing how meaningful the football program has been to them.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t say my heart goes out to our seniors,” Rhule said. “Several of them were emotional just now in the locker room, just how much that locker room and the stadium and this university and this football program have meant to them in their lives.”
The Bears (1-10, 1-7) started the game off with an opening drive touchdown as senior tight end Ishmail Wainright pulled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer to put the Bears up 7-0.
Wainright, who notched his second touchdown of the season, said he has confidence that the young players will lead Baylor to success in the future.
“I have a lot of confidence in these guys,” Wainright said. “I mean, Grayland [Arnold], Lenoy [Jones, Jr.], Charlie Brewer, he’s a freshman. I mean, people think he might be little. He’s a freshman. Look at the things he’s done. You got to trust the process. That’s what the guys are doing right now. They’re trusting the process and look at them now.”
The young defense showed its youth in this game, however, as Iowa State quickly responded with a 36-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Zeb Noland to senior receiver Allen Lazard to tie the game.
At the end of the first half, Cyclone sophomore receiver Hakeem Butler broke away for a 67-yard touchdown off a pass from Noland to give the Cyclones a 17-10 lead at the break.
Butler’s touchdown wasn’t the biggest blow to Baylor in the first half. Senior linebacker Taylor Young left the game due to a quad injury that will also keep him out of the season finale.
Rhule said losing Young hurt the defense but he also feels for Young as his Baylor career is now over.
“That was certainly a big blow to our defense,” Rhule said. “Just personally a big blow. I think I’ve spoken about how I feel about him. And not to see him finish out playing that game was disappointing just because of everything he’s meant to the program.”
In the fourth quarter, the Bears had a chance to tie the game at 20 in the red zone, but freshman running back John Lovett fumbled. Later in the quarter, Brewer threw a red zone interception to seal the win for the Cyclones.
Senior tight end Jordan Feuerbacher had a career high four catches for 23 yards and senior defensive end Brian Nance was second on the team with four solo tackles.
Rhule said the seniors have been monumental to the direction of the team in this rebuilding year.
“I told them how much they’ve meant to this program and how much they’ve meant to me personally. Just in this first year, in this tough time, in this tough transition, in this tough year, they’re the guys who have kind of locked arm in arm with us and went to battle. I hated that the seniors who played didn’t have a chance to walk off the field victorious”
The Bears close out the season with an 11 a.m. matchup against TCU on Nov. 25 in Fort Worth.