Oklahoma 26 ISU 6
On a very cool drizzly day with high winds up to 40 mph, the Cyclones travelled to Norman to take on the very powerful Oklahoma Sooners. In front of a crowd of 84,326 fans, the Cyclones played tough for most of the game on defense, but the offense was never really able to get anything going and fell to the Sooners 26-6 to bring their season record to 6-5 and their conference record to 3-5. Iowa State has now lost 7 consecutive games in Norman dating back to their last upset 33-31 win back in 1990.
Overall, this was a very disappointing game by our offense. The game started similar to the way the Oklahoma State game started. Our defense was playing great and getting the offense the ball, but the offense was not taking advantage of the opportunities it was given. On this day however, we never did get it going on offense and that was the real difference in this game. Our offense only had 245 yards of offense which is the lowest output of the season and the fewest since the Cyclones travelled to Norman last year and got spanked. On the day we had no sustained drives of longer than 35 yards. This was huge because we never kept the defense off the field for any length of time and the defense clearly wore out in this game. We had 4 turnovers (3 fumbles, 1 interception) which tied for a season high (UNI 4 turnovers) and that just set us way back. We were just shooting ourselves in the foot.
On our first series from scrimmage, White fumbled the ball on our second play on offense on our own 22 yard line. Not a good way to start the game on the road. The defense did hold Oklahoma kicker mike Hunnicutt to a 20 yd FG to give OU a 3-0 lead with 11;15 left in the first quarter. On our next offensive possession, Barnett fumbled on the OU 27. Can’t turn the ball over to start a game and expect to win. Our most positive drive started at the OU 10 yard line following a punt snap that went over the head of OU punter Tress Way. We scored a TD pass from Barnett to Gary that strangely, bounced off the helmet of an OU defender. Unfortunately, We missed the extra point so the score was then 6-3 Cyclones. Those were our only points of the day. We went the whole rest of the game without scoring. Obviously, you can’t score only 6 points in a road game and give yourself any chance at all to win the game, especially when you are playing a team like Oklahoma. I have to give the Oklahoma defense a lot of credit for stepping up the week after letting Baylor score at will and really shutting down our offense. They took us out of our offensive game plan right from the start of the game and we were never able to get on track.
I thought Barnett played his worst game yet as a starter. He ended the day 13-28 passing for 125 yards. He threw for one TD and had one INT. He rushed the ball 13 times for only 26 yards. The OU defense did a good job of containing him on the run and confused the young freshman with their pass defense and stellar rush. At times, OU dropped 8 men into pass coverage and really confused Barnett. I thought that defensive strategy was brilliant. Barnett has many more games to play as a Cyclone, but this was not one of his finer ones. He needs to learn from the mistakes he made on this day and come back and play much better if we have any hopes of winning another game this season.
I thought the offensive line played very poorly overall. We never established much of a run game. We only had 120 yards rushing the ball and that put a lot of pressure on our passing game. Our pass blocking was also very suspect most of the game and Barnett was forced to make decisions much quicker than he should have.
Our RBs played a very average game. James White just played very poorly to start the game. His part in two fumbles just killed us. He never really was on his game and Coach Rhoads made a good decision to pull him right away from this game. You have to be ready to play or you are just too much of a liability to be on the field. I thought that Jeff Woody stepped up and had a very solid game. He had 13 carries for 60 yards which was a career high for him. He is not a flashy runner who is going to make big plays, but he is solid, dependable, and he does not turn the ball over which is huge. Hollis came in and played in relief of White and did OK. He had 8 carries for 46 yards. He is going to have to continue to develop, but the fact that he did not fumble the ball was huge.
I thought that the WRs did not play very well overall. It was a tough day because they did not get a lot of good balls to catch. I thought that the windy conditions played a big part in that. I also thought that their run blocking was very poor at times. They need to step up and block better on runs to help us establish a good running game. Gary was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 52 yards. Reynolds had 4 catches for 31 yards. West had 3 catches for only 11 yards.
I thought that our defense played a very good game overall. They did a lot of great things and really shut down a very powerful Oklahoma offense and really gave our team every chance to win this game. Unfortunately, our offense really let us down on this day. There were lots of positives on the defensive side of the ball. Our defense caused 4 (3 INTs, 1 fumble) Oklahoma turnovers. Our defense has gotten 9 turnovers in the last two games which is outstanding. Prior to that, we were averaging 1.7 turnovers/game. Our defense has gotten 6 interceptions in the last two games. Prior to that, we had 5 interceptions in the previous 9 games combined. Those are just great numbers. When you are getting those kind of turnover numbers, you are really giving yourself a shot to win. Our defense had a great stand on the goaline after a long 8 play 58 yard drive. Jake Knott intercepted a Black Bell pass in the end zone from their 1 yard line to keep them from scoring. Our defense only gave up 3 points in the entire second half, which is just outstanding. No opponent has been able to do that to OU all season.
There were some bad things the offense di do on this afternoon. Most of these were due to our offense not keeping the defense off the field which hurt us greatly. Coach Burnham has this defense playing as good as any ISU defense in the past couple of decades. They have kept us in a lot of games and really given us a chance to be successful as a team. We did let up a little bit allowing OU to score 20 points in the second quarter. We also did not do a good job of recognizing the reverse as OU RB Trey Franks had 2 long runs on reverses. One of the runs was for 43 yards. I thought that these were pretty minor though in the grand scheme of things.
Our defensive line played a very solid game today. They have improved so much over the course of this season. They are getting off the ball and making it very tough for teams to run the ball on us. Ruempolhamer had a very solid game with 3 tackles and 2 TFLs.
our LBs again had a very outstanding game. AJ Klein was once again our leading tackler with 12 tackles. He is just having a season for the ages. His consistency has been outstanding. This was his 4th game of the season having 10+ tackles in a game. jake Knott also had another solid day with 11 tackles and the one INT in the end zone. I think the combination of these two LBs is one of the best duos in the country and we are very lucky to have them.
Our DBs played another outstanding game today. Ter’ran Benton had a career day with 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FR, and 1 INT. I thought that he was easily the MVP of this game. Leonard Johnson had another solid day defending at corner. He does a great job of shutting down his receiver. Washington had 8 tackles and played great at the other corner position. Reeves had a great game at safety with 5 tackles and 1 INT. Traditionally, our DBs have been a weakness of our defense, but not this years. Coach Elliot has them playing just outstanding and their coverage of some very tough receivers has been huge in several of the games this year.
Special Teams C
I thought that parts of our special teams play was very good, but others were very bad and really cost us. To get upsets on the road, you need your special teams units to step up and make big plays and we were just not able to do that overall today and it really hurt us.
Lets start with the good. Van Der Kamp punted the ball Ok considering the strong winds he was battling. He had 7 punts for a 36.1 yd average.
Our KO return unit was outstanding yet again. West had four returns for 70 yards. Aaron Horne had a 44 yard KO return that was just huge. There was one glaring mistake by this unit though. Jevohn Miller muffed a short Kick that got caught up in the wind in the first quarter and we turned the ball over to Ou at our 10 yard line. this was a huge momentum shift and really cost us.
Our kicking game was bad in the aspect that we missed our only extra point attempt. We just can’t have that. There is no excuse to ever miss an extra point. We just can’t have it. Too many missed extra points this year. We never attempted a FG in this game. Mahoney did another outstanding job on kickoffs often battling the strong winds.
The fumble recovery of the OU punt attempt that sailed over the head of OU punter Tress Way in the 1st quarter was huge. It set up our only score of the game. Even though it was due to a snapping error by OU, I still thought that we forced it with our rush up front.
Overall, I thought it was a very disappointing day. The defense played great and gave our offense every chance to win this game. Unfortunately, our offense played very bad and was never able to get anything going. Despite all this, I think back to our game last year in Norman and realize that we are making progress. Last year, Ou just manhandled us and knocked us all over the field. They scored at will against our defense. That was simply not the case this year. While losses are always disappointing, I am hopeful of the future and the development that we have shown as a team.
Dec. 3rd 11:30 am
ISU will end the regular season with a very tough opponent in Kansas State down in Manhattan, KS. K-State has a lot to play for. If they beat the Cyclones and OU can beat OSU on Sat., K-State will win a share of the Big 12 title. The player to definitely watch is their QB Collin Klein. Klein has rushed for 1,013 yards this season and is passing with a 58.5% accuracy for the season. He has accounted for 36 of the K-State TDs this season. The key to stopping K-State is stopping Klein.
I am very excited for this game. I will be travelling to the game and watching it in person. I can’t wait to wear my red proudly in that purple mess. I am confident that if our defense plays the way they have been playing, we can shut down the K-State offense. If this happens, and our offense can make some plays and play a good game, we have a great shot at upsetting the Wildcats and keeping them from a Big 12 title. my prediction is ISU 24, K-State 21. Go Cyclones!