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John Werner's college picks: Baylor wins defensive battle over Iowa State

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Baylor Texas State

Baylor linebacker Dillon Doyle will return to his home state when the Bears face Iowa State on Saturday in Ames.

Nobody knew just how good Baylor was last season until a 31-29 win over then-No. 14 Iowa State served notice in a late September game at McLane Stadium.

Of course, the unranked Bears went on to win the Big 12 championship while the Cyclones stumbled through a disappointing 7-6 season.

On Saturday, an unranked Iowa State team that’s off to a 3-0 start can show that it’s a legitimate Top 25 team by knocking off No. 17 Baylor in what should be a brutal defensive battle.

No. 17 Baylor (+3) at Iowa State

For the second time this season, Baylor hits the road as an underdog.

The Bears were a three-point underdog two weeks ago against BYU in a game that went past midnight before the Cougars pulled out a 26-20 double-overtime win in Provo, Utah.

Saturday’s game in Ames shapes up to be the same kind of battle. The Cyclones have put together one of the top defenses in the country so far, allowing nine points per game. Baylor’s defense has also been strong, allowing 14.3 points.

Baylor wasn’t able to rattle veteran BYU quarterback Jaren Hall, but should have more luck shaking up relatively inexperienced Iowa State QB Hunter Dekkers.

Baylor 21, Iowa State 17

Special guest Randy Peterson (@RandyPete), the Des Moines Register veteran who's been in the sportswriting game for half a century, joins Trib sports guys John Werner and Brice Cherry for some college football talk.

No. 22 Texas (-6.5) at Texas Tech

Anticipation will be high as Texas Tech announced its first home sellout since 2018 against a Texas team that’s had the Red Raiders’ number for a long time.

Tech hasn’t beaten the Longhorns in Lubbock since 2008 when All-America receiver Michael Crabtree was still around.

The Red Raiders are certainly off to a promising start under first-year head coach Joey McGuire, scoring a 33-30 win over then-No. 25 Houston before dropping a 27-14 loss to then-No. 16 North Carolina State last weekend.

The Longhorns made a backdoor entrance into the Top 25 following a 20-19 loss to then-No. 1 Alabama before beating UTSA. But they look like an improved team that should continue to have Texas Tech’s number.

Texas 35, Texas Tech 24

• This week, Texas Tech will have its first sellout since 2018 (!) as the Raiders welcome No. 22 Texas in what's likely to be their last trip to Lubbock for a long time. The Longhorns have dominated lately, but even so, it's suprising that the Red Raiders haven't beat UT in Lubbock since 2008. Will that streak end on Saturday? Special guest Randy Peterson (@RandyPete), the Des Moines Register veteran who's been in the sportswriting game for half a century, joins Trib sports guys John Werner and Brice Cherry for some college football talk. 

TCU (-2) at SMU

TCU’s Sonny Dykes returns to the school he coached at four seasons, so he’s obviously familiar with the Mustangs’ personnel.

Dykes is off to an impressive start with the Horned Frogs, winning a 38-13 road game at Colorado before pounding Tarleton State, 59-17.

SMU will be TCU’s biggest test so far. Former Midway quarterback Tanner Mordecai has already thrown for 1,013 yards and 10 touchdowns in the Mustangs’ 2-1 start, and should be able to rack up some numbers against the Horned Frogs.

SMU 38, TCU 31

Kansas State (+13) at No. 6 Oklahoma

The Dillon Gabriel era is off to a promising start as he’s passed for 759 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in the Sooners’ 3-0 start.

Marvin Mims is one of the Big 12’s most dangerous receivers as he’s made 14 catches for 310 yards and two scores.

After impressive wins over South Dakota and Missouri, the Wildcats somehow stumbled in a 17-10 loss to Tulane. A trip to Norman probably won’t resolve their issues.

Oklahoma 35, Kansas State 17

No. 10 Arkansas (+2) at No. 23 Texas A&M

Following a home loss to Appalachian State, the Aggies managed to stay in the Top 25 by holding on to a 17-9 win over then-No. 13 Miami.

The Razorbacks have shown a lot of offensive potential in their first three games by averaging 37.7 points, but they haven’t played a defense nearly as good as Texas A&M’s.

The Aggies’ offense doesn’t really scare anybody, putting the pressure on the defense to make enough game-turning plays.

Texas A&M 17, Arkansas 14

Last week: 5-0 overall, 4-1 against the line

Season: 14-1 overall, 9-5 against the line

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