The Cyclones are back on track just in time for a bye week and then three games against teams with a combined record of 24-3 overall. Certainly no easy task, but this ISU team needs to win one of those three games in order to attain bowl eligibility and a likely trip to New York City for the Pinstripe Bowl (crossing fingers). Let's not get too far out in front of the wagon here though.
Iowa State managed to wear down a pretty athletic Kansas Jayhawk squad that came out with something to prove. No doubt in my mind Kansas circled this game on their schedule after they continually got beat down all season long. This was one game they felt winnable, and for good reason. Iowa State is no world beater. The Texas Tech win from last week is the exception, not the rule. So with a determined KU team out for their first conference win, one could have predicted a close game. That's exactly what we saw.
There were times in that game that I felt KU was dominant in most aspects of the game. Both Jayhawk lines manhandled the Iowa State lines at times. Quite a different story from last week to this week. Couple that with yet another lost turnover battle and you've got yourself the makings for a loss. Not so fast my friend. Iowa State came out and took care of business when it really mattered at the end of the game. As I mentioned earlier, it seems there was a shift in domination in the trenches at some point midway through the 4th quarter. We wore them down and ramped up the running game. The rest was history....add another W to the results schedule.
Jared Barnett, QB - Slim margin of victory for the offensive helmet sticker this week. Barnett was just too hard to pass over for the honor. Barnett managed to put up some great overall statistics with a lot of help from his legs and the KU defense not putting a spy on him and leaving the middle of the field wide open. Instead they decided to apply pressure from the outside which resulted in Jared scampering multiple times for critical first downs on third and long situations. For being a redshirt freshman, the kid continues to amaze me with his poise and decision making. He just appears so comfortable in the pocket and he hides the ball very well in the zone read. Still has a lot of learning to do, as any rs freshman would, however it's a lot harder to teach poise and discipline, qualities he already seemingly possesses. Jared ended the game with a whopping 141 yards rushing and was 16 of 30 through the air for 175 yards. To put in to context how great a rushing performance that was by a QB. 141 yards is the most rushing yards by a quarterback since 2000 by Sage Rosenfels.
DEFENSIVE WRNL HELMET STICKER:
A.J. Klein, LB - This Cyclone defense was stingy and played very well all game. They were put into high pressure situations on account of the offense turning the ball over yet managed to hold Kansas to 10 points. At one point, late in the game Kansas was marching and from the looks of things were going to score. Within the 10 yard line the defense gave up a short yard for a 4th down conversion by Kansas but then stepped up to hold them to a field goal. This defensive "victory" proved to be absolutely critical as a touchdown would have given Kansas 14 points. Iowa State scored only 13 in the game. Klein was a large part of that success yesterday, ending the game with 9 total tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry.
WRNL EDITORS PICK HELMET STICKER:
Zach Guyer, K - I'm not sure how positively I can say this, but I think our kicking woes are behind us. Perhaps the defeatist mentality our kickers employed is an afterthought and it's all smooth sailing going forward. I'm sure I speak for the entire Cyclone Nation when I say, I sure as hell hope so. There's always one thing I've absolutely hated our fans doing and that is crossing both fingers with both arms straight up in the air when we are attempting a field goal. It doesn't seem to help the psyche of our kickers in the slightest. Kicking is 70% mental...very similar to a golf swing. Zach Guyer seems to have leaped those mental hurdles and he came up big in this Kansas game, ultimately winning it for us in the end. Two for two in field goals. The first from 32 yards out and the second from 42 yards.
COMMEMORATIVE GENE CHIZIK COIN:
Turner Gill - I award this masterful coin with the face of one Gene Chizik prominently imprinted on it to you coach Gill. Why? I can only think of one reason, that being pity. I actually kinda feel bad for the Kansas Jayhawks and their head coach Turner Gill. It's been a rough season, one in which Cyclone fans can relate to. Trust me, we know what you're feeling and it's not easy. I feel bad for Gill, as it's more than likely the unemployment rate will increase by a marginal percentage for a short while after this season ends and Gill finds himself searching for future employment. As it relates to Cyclone fans...remember when Gill was the most wanted coach when we were replacing the aforementioned Gene Chizik? Gill reportedly turned us down, thank you baby Jesus. Now Gill will forever own a piece of Cyclone history, an 0-2 record against the Cyclones and a coin honoring one of the worst coaches in Cyclone history.