October remains undefeated. To find the last loss by the Cyclones in the month October you’d have to go all the way back to 2016, when I was a senior in high school. Iowa State came out hot, and was able to put up numbers against one of the best defenses in the Big 12. Minus a second half TCU offensive explosion, Iowa State dominated start to finish.
The Cyclones were able to get the ball rolling early with some big plays from DeShaunte Jones. Brock Purdy took off on a 44 yard keeper off a read option being caught just short of the goal line. The next play Purdy found Chase Allen on a quick pass putting the Cyclones up 7-0. The Cyclones had an incredible first drive and got off to a quick start for the first time this season.
Iowa State’s defense came out looking stout. Max Duggan looked uncomfortable in his home state of Iowa to start the game. A first drive that was aided more by penalties than offense, and a second drive ended in a 3 and out.
Iowa State continued to stay hot on offense. Purdy and Jones seemed to be on the same wavelength the whole drive. A 3rd and 5 completion was called back as illegal touching, phrasing, setting up 4th and 5 followed by a failed conversion.
With time running down in the first quarter TCU found their footing on offense. Darius Anderson moved the ball down the field on the run game before Iowa State came up big on a third down stop, forcing the Horned Frogs to kick a field goal.
As the weather cleared up the defense hunkered down. O’Rien Vance came up big early in the second quarter causing a fumble near the goal line that Eyioma Uwazurike (have Harry Carey say that one backwards) scooped and scored putting the Cyclones up 14-3.
The defense came back out and forced yet another three-and-out not giving TCU any breathing room. After giving up a 60 yard drive to end the first quarter, that only gave up 3 points, the defense finished the half near impeccable.
The Cyclone offense cooled off a bit in the second quarter, as their following drive’s biggest plays were the results of penalties in the TCU secondary before an incomplete pass on 4th-and-2 ended the drive with a turnover on downs.
TIGHT END TOUCHDOWN FAN CLUB IS IN FULL ATTENDANCE. Charlie Kolar reeled in yet another touchdown catch on a blown coverage. 21-3.
Yet another special teams gaffe on a failed squib kick allowed the Horned Frogs take possession at midfield, but Iowa State escaped unscathed, as TCU lined up and missed a 57 yard field goal with fifteen seconds left in the half.
After a great kick return to begin the second half by Kene Nwangwu, DeShaunte Jones continued to catch literally anything thrown in his general direction. A deflected pass in double coverage, sure, a pass a little short and in front of him, why not?
After the drive sputtered out a few plays later, the special teams contributed an unusually positive play, as Joe Rivera pinned TCU inside the five yard line on an excellent punt.
The defense, of course, capitalized and TCU might’ve gotten away with a hold in the end zone. TCU barely got the punt off and escaped disaster two plays in a row deep in their own territory.
Iowa State took advantage of great field position, and believe it or not, a big run play from someone not named Brock Purdy. Jonnie Lang got loose for a great run putting the Cyclones in the red zone. Back to back rushes for Corn Jesus waltzed right in for his first rushing touchdown of the day, and PLAY JUICY WIGG… oh what the.
I don’t know who does audio or picks the music for Iowa State’s loud speakers, but where’s the consistency? The first score in the second half is always followed by the “Juicy Wiggle”. Way to mess it up, you had one job. Also, “Put Me in Coach” is a terrible song, fight me.
Following Iowa State’s touchdown drive, TCU got the ball back. Max Duggan found hole on third down and had a scary collision with Iowa State safety Greg Eisworth. Eisworth stayed on the ground for a while before walking off on his own strength. Campbell went on to say in the press conference that Eisworth could’ve played in the 4th quarter if they needed him.
Duggan connected with big play threat Jalen Raegor on 42 yard completion. TCU found themselves in striking distance for the second time all day. Raegor was on the receiving end in the corner end zone by a perfectly placed pass.
Corn Jesus went into full effect on the next drive with some incredible effort by the Iowa State receiving corps. Tarique Milton had a Montgomery-esque play, simply refusing to go down. Purdy had all the time in the world completing on a wide open pass to Jonnie Lang. Next play, handoff to Lang, touchdown 35-10. Still no juicy wiggle…
The defense suddenly became much more permeable. The secondary seemed noticeably weaker without Eisworth anchoring it. TCU drove all the way down the field after a big completion to Te’Vailance Hunt for 33 yards. TCU pounded the ball in after a 5 yard touchdown run by Darius Anderson, 35-17.
Re-Al Mitchell was under center for the first play of the drive before Purdy would take over. After a few incompletions the Cyclones were forced to punt after only one first down.
Alright, everybody just stay calm. TCU came marching down the field once again with no issue passing the ball, big gain after big gain. Jalen Raegor Targaryaned his way over the Iowa State defense for a 29 yard touchdown catch. TCU cuts the lead to 11 and a two possession game.
Iowa State’s offense put some life back into Jack Trice Stadium. Purdy and Landon Akers connected on a 33 yard pass play out of the backfield. Purdy hesi-sidestepped his way into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game… and ladies and gentlemen…
PLAY ME THAT JUICY WIGGLE.
Let me tell you that nothing compares to “Juicy Wiggle” in Jack Trice; it just gets the people going. The build up, albeit not intentional, might’ve been the most exciting thing in the second half. On the following kickoff Jalen Raegor fumbles, recovery Iowa State, coincidence? I think not.
Zach Petersen forced the fumble in what was a great game for him. Petersen stepped in for JaQuan Bailey who’s been out the past few weeks, and has now likely been ruled out for the season. Campbell confirmed at the press conference that Bailey had surgery earlier this week on his lower leg, assuring that it wasn’t Bailey’s knee.
What should’ve been an easy red zone score for the Cyclones got a little more complicated when Jihrel Brock fumbled the ball at about the five yard line following a big hit. Iowa State recovered the fumble. The theatrics though, came at the far side of the field where Joseph Scates and TCU’s Jeff Gladney scuffled a bit, resulting in personal fouls on both teams, offsetting the penalty. Johnnie Lang capped off the series with a one yard touchdown run, 49-24.
A roller coaster of a game worth every bit of the two hour delay. The Cyclones looked better today than they have all season. The third down defense showed up, Brock Purdy was electric, and the special teams was more positive than negative. October is back. Matt Campbell had this to say.
“People get sick of me talking about winning in the margins, but at Iowa State, that’s how you win football games, in the margins”