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Three Things We Learned Against West Virginia

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Slow starts are not what this Iowa State team can afford.

Iowa State v West Virginia Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

A slow start in Morgantown on Saturday doomed the Cyclones. Things are not all gloomy for this Iowa State team as there is still a ton a football left. With a game against Oklahoma State on Saturday the Cyclones can force themselves back into the fold once again. For now let’s go over what we learned on Saturday.

Slow Starts Are Killers

Excluding the Oklahoma game, over the course of October, Iowa State was able to get off to fast starts and get ahead quickly. Saturday was the complete opposite. The Cyclones quickly dug themselves into a 20 point deficit and were never able to overcome it. We have heard it from the coaches all season long that the margin for error for this team is so small. That proved to be the case on Saturday.

Offense Needs To Produce

Iowa State hasn’t scored over 20 points in two weeks. The Cyclones’ points per game has dropped to 30.6. Interesting play calling, miscues, penalties, and not executing all doomed the Iowa State offense on Saturday. Tom Manning is going to have to figure out how to get this Cyclone offense over the hump if he wants to be successful over the remaining three games.

They have put a ton of pressure on the defense to hold high powered offenses at bay, and, thankfully, they have. Saturday against Oklahoma State will be no different. With a high caliber quarterback coming into Ames, Iowa State needs to score points in case the defense gives up more than what we have been accustomed to seeing lately.

Defense Still Up To Task

Iowa State took on one of the best quarterback and wide receiver combinations in the country on Saturday and held them to only 20 points in the game and 0 in the second half. John Heacock has maximized this defensive unit and it has allowed Iowa State to be in each game this season. It’s going to take another one of those efforts on Saturday against an Oklahoma State offense that put up 52 points this past Saturday.

Iowa State continues to win the turnover battle as well, currently boasting a +10 turnover margin, something we haven’t seen from past Iowa State teams. The defense has forced 7 fumbles and intercepted 11 passes on the year. While other areas of the Cyclone team try to find their way, look for the defense to continue to carry the torch.