Since Iowa State brought a disappointing end to Oklahoma State's national championship hopes on a cold Friday night in 2011, the Cowboys have responded mercilessly, piling up a 83-37 combined margin of victory the last two years. Iowa State looked thoroughly outmatched throughout the game, piling up a collection of missed tackles, turnovers, penalties, and injuries in yet another loss on the 2013 season.
Iowa State was without Luke Knott (hip/groin), Willie Scott (failed to make team expectations) and Aaron Wimberly (hamstring) to start the game, and lost Jarvis West and Sam Richardson during the game. West will be out with an MCL injury for at least four weeks, while Sam Richardson is said to be OK and will practice on Sunday, but held out for precautionary reasons after hurting his neck/head on a possible (unflagged) late hit.
Once again, the offense struggled outside of a few series, emphasized by not one, but two defensive touchdowns by the Cowboys. Richardson led the schizophrenic play, being responsible for a couple of beautiful tosses, including a nice touchdown throw to Quenton Bundrage, as well as leading the team in rushing despite not playing the second half at all. Grant Rohach was just as hot and cold in relief, throwing a pick (and several more near picks on out routes) and fumbling the ball carelessly, but showed good arm strength and threw another touchdown to Bundrage, who looks to be on track to break Todd Blythe's single season receiving record... as a sophomore.
Due to the absence of Wimberly, the Cyclones were forced to go back to a three headed running back by committee of Shontrelle Johnson, James White, and DeVondrick Nealy, with Nealy providing the fireworks on an impressive leap into the end zone from the 5 yard line. Meanwhile, Shontrelle finally showed some flashes of his old self, 10 months after tearing his ACL during Liberty Bowl practice last year. It's a reminder that other than Adrian Peterson, it takes a while for running backs to regain their explosiveness after major surgery and begs the question of if a redshirt would have benefited Johnson and the team.
The defense made several outstanding stops to make it a game at halftime, but was a
step mile behind the Oklahoma State rushing offense all day, resulting in giving up 342(!) yards rushing, including 219 from backup/surprise starter Desmond Roland, and 83 more from the not so fleet of foot Clint Chelf, who started in place of the benched J.W. Walsh.
And yet, things still seem better than they did last week against Baylor.