Iowa State headed to Stillwater needed a win in a big way. The offense was stale, and didn’t seem to have any hope in sight of becoming an offense capable of complementing an extremely good defense. Fast forward to today, and the Cyclones are 2-3 on the season and heading into a crucial match up with West Virginia in the #RIOTBOWL. Before that happens, let’s go over a few things we learned on Saturday afternoon.
Brock Purdy Injects Life Into Iowa State
The last few weeks, Iowa State’s offense has been the headline, but not in a good way. We all knew they had the players to be successful on offense, but something was missing. Apparently, it was true freshman quarterback Brock Purdy. He played the entire game, minus the first drive, and Iowa State was able to score 46 points on offense.
Purdy tallied 318 yards passing and four touchdowns on the afternoon, and was also Iowa State’s leading rusher with 19 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. The offense seemed to open up after Purdy coming in, as the playbook seemed to grow with the dual-threat freshman. He played so well that it was easy to forget David Montgomery didn’t even put on his pads on Saturday. The good guys will need more of that effort come Saturday.
Defense Still The Strong Point
Despite giving up 42 points, the Cyclone defense is still the strength of this team. All afternoon, John Heacock’s bunch were living in the Cowboy backfield, tallying 7 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. That pressure in the backfield largely helped keep the Oklahoma State big plays to a minimum. Iowa State also forced two turnovers, with Braxton Lewis recording his third interception in three games, and making a case as the Cyclones’ best coverage safety. Come Saturday, the Cyclones will need more timely blitzing and great tackling like we saw on Saturday if they’re going to keep West Virginia in check.
Running Back By Committee
Following the showdown with the Mountaineers, the Cyclones will be on their bye week. It may be wise to rest David Montgomery for one more game to allow him more rest and a better chance to heal so he is available for the final stretch of the season. Iowa State is deep at running back with Johnnie Lang, Kene Nwangwu and Sheldon Croney Jr. With the addition of the legs of Brock Purdy, it should make the running attack more than capable to take on West Virginia.