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The Best Cyclone Performance Against: Texas Tech

This one is a no brainer.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State has fared well against the Tortillas of Taco Tech as of late, winning 3 straight matchups, though the series is tied at five apiece over the last decade. We’ve experienced some fun ones against Texas Tech, from Jeremy Reeves housing an onside kick in 2010 (featuring a Paul Rhoads-high 52 points), to Marcel Spears Jr. taking interceptions all the way back for touchdowns in consecutive years.

The year is 2016, November the 19th. Matt Campbell is in his first season as the head ball coach in Ames, and things are off to a rocky start. Opening the season with a loss is never good, and UNI was able to come to Jack Trice and best Campbell in his coaching debut. It would take 4 games for Campbell and Co. to finally put a tally in the win column, beating San Jose State, 44-10.

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Though the season wasn’t great in terms of the final record, things seemed different at Iowa State. For the first time in more than a few years, this team could compete and was playing smart football. The team opened conference play with a 3 point loss to a top 15 team in Baylor, followed by a 7 point loss to Oklahoma State. Both games saw the Cyclones get out scored 17-0 in the 4th quarter. The team then dropped 3 more in a row, to Big 12 foes Texas, Kansas State, and eventual Big 12 Champion Oklahoma. Next, Iowa State traveled to Lawrence to play a JV team Kansas, and finally got over the hump to notch that first Big 12 win.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Kansas Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech was not a great team by any measure, coming in at just 4-6, and a record of 3-4 in Big 12 play. This team however featured a future NFL MVP in Patrick Mahomes II. Coming into the season, it was expected that Lanning would be the starting quarterback, but he was relieved of his duties midway through the season by redshirt-sophomore Jacob Park.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Lanning’s role did not diminish, however. As soon as he stopped throwing the ball, the infamous “LanRam” package was born. His job was then to take the snap and run downhill, and it worked to significant success.

Lanning was a bowling ball in the backfield, and would get his time to shine when the Red Raiders came to town. The Cyclones opened up on a scoring drive, capped off by Joel Lanning’s first trip to the endzone on a 24 yard run. The Cyclone defense was truly dominant against this explosive Kliff Kingsbury led offense. After a couple touchdowns by Jacob Park and Allen Lazard, Lanning once again found his way to the endzone in the second quarter to put Iowa State up 28-3. At the half, Iowa State led 45-3.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Lanning would reach the endzone for the 3rd time late in the 3rd quarter of a game that was never really close. Entering the 4th quarter, the ‘Clones held a 52-10 lead, and did not look to slow down. LanRam took the ball 35 yards and crossed the goal line with just over 14 minutes left in the game, and would score once more before the night was done, while the Whirly Birds would get the win, 66-10.

For those who didn’t have their “Lanning touchdown tracker” ready to go, that put him at 5 for the day, tying a “school record” (though WRNL’s very own Jared Larson begs to differ), Joel Lanning reached the end zone on runs of: 24, 5, 19, 35, and 10. 17 carries for 171 yards is a solid day of work for a running back, but a quarterback (or future middle linebacker)? Borderline cheat code.