Iowa State failed to get into the win column again yesterday. However, for those of you who have remained dedicated to this team, didn't you feel a little better about that performance than the Missouri game last week? I was so angry and fed up with this team after last week but they bounced back and played OK, not good or great, but OK. Things certainly weren't up to par with the rest of the B12 but we did get to see a few nice things.
We got to see redshirt freshman Jared Barnett get a lot of snaps and he actually played pretty well, all things considered. I think he outperformed Jantz when comparing this game to all six of Jantz's starts. If I were to grade his performance I'd give him a C+, which is closer to being a B- than being a C. He wasn't turnover prone like Jantz has been which is refreshing for Cyclone fans. He may be just what this team needed all along but that's not to say he's the answer. He's got a lot of things to learn and perfect to get to that level. He'll likely be practicing with the 1's all this week so hopefully he'll get some timing with his receivers and backs. Watching some of the zone reads he ran yesterday was painful at times. Time will tell how this saga plays out but I'm hopeful and will stand behind him.
Most important, we got to see a team that certainly hasn't given up. Coming off three straight losses by huge margins, you could have easily witnessed this team come out flat and disinterested. I didn't really see that. I'm not a huge advocate of moral victories, and frankly this wasn't a moral victory in terms of the win/loss column, but as a Cyclone fan you can't help but love this team, coach Paul Rhoads and the rest of the staff.
FINAL SCORE: IOWA STATE (3-4, 0-4) 17 TEXAS A&M (5-2, 3-1) 33OFFENSIVE WRNL HELMET STICKER:
Josh Lenz, WR - It seemed Lenz was on the receiving end of almost every pass yesterday. It seems that way because he was actually on the receiving end of exactly half the sum of all receptions. Other than Lenz, only running back James White had more than one reception. Lenz had eight. Of his eight receptions, one of them went for a long of thirty yards over the middle which was at a critical point in the game. Josh Lenz was shifty after the catch, breaking tackles, ankles, and big gains. Unfortuntately he was unable to get into the endzone because the game he had could only have been better had he gotten to paydirt. In total Lenz amassed 117 yards on eight receptions. Good enough to get a helmet sticker if you ask me.
DEFENSIVE WRNL HELMET STICKER:
Jeremy Reeves, DB - Picking a defensive player this week was harder than normal. Nobody on defense really stood out to me and as I browsed our stats, I still had trouble finding someone that popped out at me. I continued to analyze and came up with Jeremy Reeves. He led the team in total tackles with ten. What was most impressive with his ten tackles, was every one of them was a solo tackle. The typical defensive state line rarely shows all your tackles being solo. On the negative side, it's not considered a good thing (for a team) when your leading tackler is in the defensive secondary.
WRNL EDITORS PICK HELMET STICKER:
Jared Barnett, QB - As I brought up earlier, Jared Barnett has gotten the nod. According to Paul Rhoads in his post game presser, Barnett will be the starter next week at Texas Tech. While he didn't start this game against A&M, he played virtually the entire game and he performed admirably for a redshirt freshmen in his first ever collegiate football game against the #17 team in the nation. His numbers weren't superb, 16 of 36 for 180 yards. However, unlike his competition, Steele Jantz, Barnett did not turn the ball over at all in 3 and a half quarters of play. There were some very sloppy moments that clearly need to be worked on a lot this week. I feel comfortable with him behind center though.
COMMEMORATIVE GENE CHIZIK COIN:
Officials - Oddly I had a lot of trouble honoring someone with the Chiz Coin this week. I bet you thought I'd go with the obvious and rag on A&M for bitching out and taking their talents to the SEC (most overused phrase since Lebron's decision)? WRNL has harked on them enough this week about that, no need to beat a dead horse. Nor could I give the coin to anyone on A&M or our own squad because A&M is just a better team. They flat out beat us. We played decent, they played better. So why the officials? I mean, the officials did a pretty good job, outside of the pass interference call that undoubtedly changed the momentum of the game. In fact, I think Iowa State benefited from some "blown" calls as well. Struggling to find anything I just settled on the officials because that PI call truly did change that game at a time we had the lead and were on the verge of forcing another punt. Instead the call is made, and the Aggies proceed to march down the field for a touchdown. Kinda lame, I know.