Iowa State played well on Saturday against Oklahoma but ultimately fell short. There was much improvement across the board but also a few things to go back and work on. Here are three things that we learned on Saturday.
Time For Some Tackling Drills
This was the thing defensively that stood out to almost everyone. Missed tackles all over the place by Iowa State’s defense. Iowa State could have negated quite a few Oklahoma scoring drives, but the missed tackles kept the Sooner offense on the field longer on many drive that they should have been. It’s something we saw Iowa State do well last week against Iowa, but take a step back this week. I think it may just be a one time deal, but it certainly hurt Iowa State on Saturday.
Every Iowa State fan loves Kyle Kempt, but his injury may have given Zeb Noland the opportunity he need to take the starting job. When Kempt is indeed healthy enough to return, Matt Campbell may have a hard time making the switch back to Kyle Kempt. Noland threw for 360 yards and two scores last Saturday, and looked good doing it. He did have a few underthrows, including a glaring one on the long completion to Landen Akers in the third quarter. Kempt will be out for Akron, so Noland will have another shot to stake his claim.
Offensive Line Improvements
Though I get Kinnick is a tough place to play, I thought it was a mistake taking Collin Newell out of the starting lineup, and Matt Campbell said Saturday he was mad at himself for doing so as well. The offensive line looked much improved, but it wasn’t necessarily perfect, and that is fine. Pass protection for most of the afternoon was good and they showed they can get the push up front to spring some runs. Week by week, this group will be the most watched by many. Against Akron next Saturday is the perfect time to take another step forward.