Don't let the one-possession score fool you - this game was over when Jake Rudock punched in a 1 yard touchdown to put the Hawks up 27-7 in the 4th. Iowa State simply couldn't stop Mark Weisman, so Iowa continued to feed him the ball. By the second quarter, Iowa was openly exploiting the weak defensive line and continued to unleash 13-14 play drives consisting of 12-13 runs and an occasional play action pass.
But the defense bent more than they broke, and might have had a chance if they could have ever gotten off the field. Iowa won the time of possession battle by almost 17 minutes. The continued insistence on trying to run up the middle behind the third string center on an already young offensive line was bad enough, but after the 8th time that horizontal pass to the sideline was stopped for no gain, one would think a BCS level coordinator would be able to notice that Iowa's contain was actually pretty good, and adjust their gameplan accordingly.
But we don't have a BCS level Offensive Coordinator. What we have is a Mess.
Check out this drive summary from the first half:
- 3 plays, 8 yards, Punt
- 7 plays, 4 yards, Punt
- 6 plays, 17 yards, Punt
- 3 plays, 1 yard, Punt
- 4 plays, 6 yards, Turnover on downs
- 5 plays, 14 yards, Interception
- 1 play, -2 yards, End of Half.
(Although I completely agree on the decision to kneel down after having that kind of a half.)
A few bright spots - Quentin Bundrage looked good on his TD catches. The onside kick unit did good, and Kirby's pinpoint kicking was pretty good tonight. Oh, and despite getting absolutely worked over, we only lost by one touchdown because we abused Iowa's prevent defense to cover the spread. Past that, this season is going to be a tire fire. We were just dominated by a not-particularly-great Iowa squad. Fuck everything. Burn it down.
The worst part about a loss like this is that it doesn't exist in a vaccuum. It has the potential to wipe out the recent momentum the program had started to build. It kills ticket sales and puts the commitments of 4* recruits like Lazard in question. This needs to be fixed now, because Iowa State is not that far removed from backsliding into the era Chizik-ball.