ISU 13 Kansas 10
Wow. I think we were very fortunate to get this win, a win that we needed very much. This win brought the Cyclones to an overall 5-4 record and 2-4 in the Big 12 Conference. This win brought us within one win of gaining bowl eligibility. While another win will be very difficult with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State remaining, it still gives us a chance for success. A loss against Kansas would have made the road to a bowl game almost impossible. A crowd of 51,575 witnessed the close game which sets a all-time season attendance record for the Clones.
In my opinion, there were two things that led to this being a much closer game than it should have been. The first was turnovers. ISU had 4 fumbles and lost two of them. The most devastating was on the first play of the fourth quarter when we were positioned to score and had a blown handoff between Barnett and Woody. That was very devastating at that point in the game. The other was the interception that Barnett threw on the first offensive drive of the second half. Against any other team in our conference, these turnovers could have easily cost us the win. Our team is simply not good enough to have these kind of turnovers and still win the game. The other big factor was our inability to have sustained drives on offense. We struggled running the ball early and that really left us in some long 2nd and 3rd down situations. As poor as the Kansas defense is, we really should have done a better job. We have to keep our defense off the field and when we do, we see what the results are.
Well, a win is a win, and even though it was a very ugly win, I am very thankful to get it. On paper, this probably should have been a high scoring game, but that is why we play the games. Right?
I thought that the offense had 4 really good drives in this game. The first was the first drive of the game. ISU went 12 plays for 82 yards using up 4:29 on the clock and ended the drive with a Zach Guyer 32 yard FG to go up 3-0. This drive included a very good 31 yd pass from Barnett to Gary for 31 yards on a 3rd and 15 play. The next occurred in the 2nd quarter. ISU went on a 11 play 80 yard drive that ended in a 18 yard TD run off the reverse by Aaron Horne into the SE corner of the end zone. It was a remarkable run. It looked like he was going to get tackled at the 10 yd line, but somehow he squirmed through the Kansas defense and found a way to score. It was a great play. The 3rd drive was a 12 play 63 yd drive that set up the go ahead score after Guyer’s 45 yard field goal that ended up being the last score of the game. The last outstanding drive occurred on the next possession when Jeff Woody was able to run the ball 4 straight times for 45 yds which allowed ISU to run out the clock and preserve the win.
On the bad side, we turned the ball over too many times. A fumble by the Darks after a 3rd down conversion, an interception thrown on the first offensive drive thrown by Barnett that killed the drive, and the most costly was a fumbled handoff between Barnett and Woody on the first play of the fourth quarter that killed a long drive. These mistakes were very costly and caused this game to be a lot closer than it needed to be. After the last two games where we seemed to improve so much in this area, we seemed to be back to our old ways. This simply can’t happen or we don’t stand a chance of getting another win this season.
I thought that Jared Barnett had a decent game. He was 16 for 30 passing the ball for 175 yds with no TDs and the one INT. Where he really excelled was running the ball. He ran the ball 22 times for 125 yards. It was the first time an ISU QB ran for over 100 yds since Bret Meyer did it in the 2004 Independence Bowl. For the day Barnett accounted for 300 of ISUs 426 total yards. Obviously Barnett is very important to our offense. Barnett looked much more human in this game, but he was able to maintain his composure and make enough plays to win the game.
The running backs was a mixed barrel. White had a very sub par game. He ran the ball 10 times for 36 yards. He did not do anything spectacular at all. Jeff Woody had one of his best games as a Cyclone. He carried the ball 9 times for 61 yards and his 4 straight carries for 45 yards to end the game was spectacular and so needed. Just a great game by Woody.
The receivers were very interesting. Reynolds was not allowed to play for breaking team rules. Not good. As a leader we need him on the field and he needs to keep his nose clean. Three young, mostly unused receivers had big games and they needed to. Gary had 5 receptions for 57 yards. West had 3 receptions for 35 yards, and Young had 2 receptions for 19 yards. I felt that all three of these receivers stepped up big time and made the future at the receiver position look very bright.
The offensive line definitely did not play their best game. RG Ethan Tuftee tweaked his injury sustained in the Tech game and was not able to play. Redshirt Freshman Jacob Gannon had to step in and make the start at RG. While I think he is still a couple of years away from being a great lineman, he did a good job considering his size and experience. Early on, we were unable to run the ball and that falls on the line. We were not having sustained drives and that really hurt us and made the defense be on the field way too long. As the game went on, I thought that the Ol wore down the Kansas front line and ended up running the ball effectively when we needed to. As an OL we had to do a better job of coming out and punching them in the mouth from the first snap. We should have taken Kansas out of the game right away instead of letting them hang in their till the 4th quarter.
Overall, I thought the defense played pretty well over the course of the game. They gave up only 73 yards offense the whole second half and only 20 yards on 3 different possessions in the 4th quarter. While, they had times they let Kansas move the ball, they stepped up when they needed to and stopped the Jayhawks cold in their tracks. They started the game poorly allowing Kansas to drive 80 yds in 9 plays that culminated with a 22 yd TD run by D.J. Beshears to allow Kansas to take a 7-3 lead on their first offensive possession. This is especially bad against a team like Kansas because this gives them hope that they can play with us.
The two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the first two offensive drives was terrible. We need to be able to keep our composure. We allowed drives to continue that never should have. These two stupid penalties put us in a really bad position to start the game.
On Kansas first offensive possession of the the second half off an ISU turnover, we allowed Kansas to drive 48 yards on 14 plays and allowed a 19 yd FG by Doherty to allow Kansas to tie the score 10-10.
On a great note, the blocked FG on a 49 yard attempt by AJ Klein was outstanding and really gave the team a lift.
On the last drive by Kansas, the defense stepped up big time and on 3rd and 5, Rumpolhamer sacked Webb to make it 3rd and 11 and got the ball back to the offense at a very critical time.
The defensive line played ok, but they need to get more consistent pressure on the QB. I thought the line did a pretty good job stopping the run. Rumpolhamer played a pretty solid game.
I thought the LBs played outstanding. Knott had 10 tackles in the game. AJ Klein had another outstanding game with 9 tackles, 1 sack, I pass break up, and a blocked FG. I thought he was the MVP of the game. He keeps getting better and better as the season goes on. I thought the secondary played a very good game. Due to injuries, there was a lot of backups who got significant playing time and they did a good job of containing the Kansas passing attack. Secondary coach Bob Elliot does an outstanding job coaching these guys and it really showed on Saturday.
Special Teams A-
I thought that the special teams played another outstanding game and were definitely the difference in ISU getting the win.
The KO and punt cover teams did a really good job all day. On Ko return, Jarvis West had 2 returns for 54 yards which was just outstanding. It gave the offense great starting position.
Zach Guyer had a very good game making 2 FGs. One was from 32 yards and the game winning 42 yd kick. he also made his extra point. He is really taking the reins as the starting kicker.
VanDerKamp had a very solid day punting the ball twice for a 44.5 yard average.
Overall, there were a lot of missed opportunities in this game. We had several chances to blow this game open, but we never did that. Instead, we let the Jayhawks stay in the game and we had to battle out the win. I am very thankful for the win, but we need to play much better in our remaining 3 games.
Oklahoma St. at ISU Nov. 18th 7 pm
Oklahoma State will most likely come to the home finally at Jack Trice Stadium as the #2 team in the country. The Cowboys are averaging 373.3 passing yards/game and 181.9 rushing yards a game. The player to watch is definitely Brandon Wheeden. The 6th year senior QB is passing at a 71.3% completions % for 2710 yards and 22 TDs with only 7 INTs. He is having a great game.
ISU will have a bye week to prepare for this game and it is a good time for a bye week as we are a sore group. I am very excited about this game. We have nothing to lose because we are not even supposed to compete with the Cowboys. If we start fast, play hard, and get some key turnovers in our favor, we have a chance to have the biggest upset in the history of our program. I am excited and can’t wait. Go Clones!