By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
Baylor football drove all the way down to the Iowa State 13-yard line on its first possession of the Saturday game in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State responded with an 80-yard drive. The Bears’ offense came back on the field and had no trouble moving the ball once again on its second possession. Iowa State responded again. The difference? Iowa State scored two touchdowns and Baylor came away with zero points.
Those missed opportunities piled up for the Bears in their 28-14 loss to the Cyclones. Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Baylor continued to move the ball, this time all the way to the end zone, or so it seemed. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer connected with junior wide receiver Marques Jones at the Iowa State 1-yard line, and the Bears hurried to the line of scrimmage as Brewer took the snap and punched it in for the touchdown.
The officials reviewed the previous play and ruled Jones dropped the ball and therefore it was an incompletion. The Bears ended up missing a field goal on the drive. Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said the whole sequence was emotionally draining.
“We thought we scored a touchdown,” Rhule said. “I fist-pumped, our sideline is going nuts, I walk down the other way, only then to hear that they’re reviewing the play before. From an emotional standpoint, you’re battling on the road. We have to say, ‘What’s next?’ and battle through adversity, but I just didn’t think it was right that our kids had to go from here to here, our field goal kicker thinks he’s kicking a PAT to all of a sudden kicking a field goal.”
Baylor’s frustrations culminated in a physical altercation in the second half, which led to the ejection of senior defensive end Greg Roberts and both teams receiving unsportsmanlike penalties.
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said the fight, which also saw Cyclone junior running back David Montgomery ejected, was a bad situation for everyone involved.
“It’s too much right now to have a response emotionally,” Campbell said. “I just think a very unfortunate situation, and I thought our kids for the most part kept really good poise but I don’t want any comment on it until I have an opportunity to see what transpired. I thought from the official standpoint, they did what they needed to do.”
With the Bears down 28-14 in the fourth quarter, Brewer received an unsportsmanlike penalty for arguing a call. Since the whole team received an unsportsmanlike penalty earlier in the game, this counted as Brewer’s second, so he was ejected from the game. Rhule said not having Brewer at the end of the game was unfortunate, especially considering his ejection was not entirely his fault.
“This was a case of us beating ourselves and not taking advantage of opportunities,” Rhule said, “most importantly in the red zone and playing at the end of the game without our quarterback because of the earlier decisions by someone else to get involved in a fight.”
Sitting at five wins, the Bears are just one win away from bowl eligibility with two games left on the schedule. Baylor faces TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday at McLane Stadium to close out its home schedule. As the Bears finish out the season, Rhule said he does not want another game like the one in Ames.
“That’s not the way we want to play,” Rhule said.