If I had to choose a way to describe the game from Saturday, I would call it a case of getting exposed for Iowa State. Heading into this week there were two schools of thought here for Iowa State: Fools Gold/Lucky As Hell OR Better Than Most Expected.
I outlined the issues of turnovers and offensive line play. I feel like I've beaten a horse to death, and we're only a third of the way through the season. And excuse me for a moment but I will continue to beat a dead horse:
THIS TEAM IS CREEPING UP TO LAST YEAR'S TURNOVER TOTAL: 13 turnovers through 4 games vs. 17 turnovers through 12 games. This time it wasn't all Jantz but you have to take care of the football. You can't spot a talented team 13 points in Q1 and expect to win the game. If you throw in the blocked punt (which is almost like a turnover), and you have just accounted for 20 of Texas' points.
THE O-LINE HAS ISSUES: Yes there are injuries, but you know what? Next man up. You can't sit there and average only 3.4 yards/carry while allowing 4 sacks. That is not going to get it done in the Big 12. The backups are guys who are getting scholarship money to play on a Big 12 team. Earn that scholarship.
It's funny. If you sit and look at the stats, the yardage is similar, ISU committed less penalties, the 3rd down conversion rates were similar, but you really have to look at what the game of football is about: it is about taking care of the football, protecting the QB, providing lanes for the running backs, and putting pressure on the QB. In those phase of the game, Texas did much a better job, and it's no surprise that they won.
I personally don't know how to feel. On one hand, I was really hoping that this team would get it together during the bye week, and really shock the world. Gameday did a thing on Paul Rhoads, the crowd at Iowa State was ready for something special to happen; heck Desmond Howard was ready for something special to happen, and it was a let down. This was one of those games where fans are created. It isn't often when the spotlight is on Iowa State in Ames, and when the opportunity game, the team did not take advantage.If you aren't going to win the game, at least show that you are ready to play!
On the other hand, Iowa State was playing with fire the last few weeks and finally got burned by finally playing a team that was better than them.
I know Iowa State isn't ever going to have better personnel than the Oklahoma's and Texas' of the world. The way a program like Iowa State competes with the "Big Boys" is by being smart and disciplined. Right now we aren't seeing a smart and disciplined team. We are seeing a team that needs some focus to reach their true potential, and has barely managed to skate by inferior teams on ability alone. It's the Big 12 season,and last I checked, the next 8 games aren't all against Kansas. It's time for this team to man-up or it's going to be a LONG rest of the way.