Believe it or not: Rhoads says Bears are run first.

Baylor is the only school in the NCAA that has averaged better than 340 yards passing in each of the last four seasons.

“I do believe they are run-first,” Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads said Monday.

Perplexed? Don’t be. The Bears are equally dangerous via the ground game.

“As explosive as they are in the pass game, you better stop their run game to have a chance to have overall success.”

Baylor is joined by Army, Navy, Air Force, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois as the only schools in the nation to run for at least 230 yards per game in each of the last four campaigns.

Guard against the long pass play and they tickle you underneath. Stack up too many people near the line and they’ll fire missiles downfield.

The orchestra leader is Bryce Petty. Rhoads thinks he should be the Heisman Trophy front-runner in 2014.

“I told Art (Briles) a year ago that I felt he (Petty) was better than the two previous (Baylor QBs – Robert Griffin and Nick Florence),” Rhoads said. “He’s that good of a football player.”

Rhoads credited the Baylor offense’s ability to adjust to what the defense shows and do so after the snap.

“It’s extremely unique,” Rhoads said.

It’s extremely productive, too.

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