After going to three consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history, Baylor will be breaking in a new starter after the graduation of Nick Florence, who led the Big 12 in total offense last season after Robert Griffin III won the Heisman for the Bears the previous year. Playing behind those two, junior Bryce Petty has played only 11 games and completed 10 of 14 passes.
Regardless of what happens, there will be golden moments for the Bears in their final season at Floyd Casey Stadium. They will wear shiny gold helmets for many games this season, among many different uniform combinations.
“To me, that’s what it’s all about. You got style, you got attitude, you got effort. You have an image,” coach Art Briles said. “And our image is we’re going to play fast, we’re going to be fearless, and we’re not going to worry about what other people think because we know who we are and we know what we’re going to do. So the new uniforms and all that stuff, it’s tied in with presenting the image that we are at Baylor, and that’s being really good football players, really good students, at a really good university.”
Iowa State does return a starting quarterback, though sophomore Sam Richardson didn’t take over until the final three games last season, when he threw eight touchdowns with only one interception.
What the Cyclones will really miss are Jake Knott and A.J. Klein, the standout linebackers who had been such a force in the Big 12.
“You don’t replace those guys. You don’t replace them from a leadership position. You don’t replace them from what they’ve meant to our era of Iowa State football,” coach Paul Rhoads said.