There was no Oklahoma hangover on Saturday from these Cyclones. Iowa State built on their upset win with a 45-0 beat down of Kansas. Things took awhile to get going in the rain on Saturday but there are plenty of takeaways. So here are three things we learned on Saturday.
The defense is a legitimate force.
Coming into the season many, including myself thought Iowa State’s defense would be a liability. So far it has proven us wrong. Currently, Iowa State has given up 48 points in Big 12 play, and that is the least given up in the entire conference! Raise your hand if you thought that would the case through 3 games into the conference schedule. Not to mention only allowing Kansas to gain 106 total yards in a shutout.
Now, this is a small sample size, and Iowa State is about to enter the gauntlet of their schedule. We are about to see what kind of defense they really are. Though I would like to see more defensive line rotations, I am more than happy to eat crow so far on my off-season analysis of this Iowa State defense.
Offensive line still needs work
The offensive line continues to be a masked problem. With Iowa State scoring points, the offensive lines struggles are hidden to the average fan. Through six games, Iowa State has given up nine sacks. Which is only 36th in the nation. To me that is not the issue. The issue is leverage and being a force up front with their blocking. We have seen the ability to block well, but they quickly erase it with inconsistency and poor technique.
Continually, we see opponents defensive lines play lower and disrupt plays before they can even develop. The inability to gain leverage has allowed too many plays to stop at the line of scrimmage. Luckily, to our advantage, we have play makers that possess ability to make something out of nothing. If Iowa State is going to take the next step this season, Tom Manning is going to have to find away to get these guys to control the line of scrimmage with force.
Kempt continues solid play
Matt Campbell hasn’t asked Kyle Kempt to be Tom Brady, and it has allowed Iowa State to simplify the passing game. So far, so good. Kempt’s stats were not insane Saturday considering the conditions on the field. Kempt Finished Saturday 13-20 for 122 yards and one touchdown.
The fact that he has yet to turn the ball over and has not made any major mistakes is what we need to continue seeing, given Jacob Park’s ongoing absence. With Texas Tech’s fast scoring ability, it will be important for Kempt to keep the same mindset and not try and play keep up with Tech. Keep things simple.