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Iowa State Football Post-Mortem: Oklahoma

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Furious comeback in Norman falls short

Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State traveled to Norman, Oklahoma with quite the chip on their shoulders. Dropping a tough homecoming game to Oklahoma State, and having 2 tough losses already before then, things were not looking good with OU and Texas next on the schedule. Oklahoma has dominated the head-to-head against Iowa State, there’s no arguing that, but of the last 2 years, Iowa State has been able to hang with the best the Sooners have had to offer.

What Went Right

2nd Half Defense

Oklahoma’s electric offense put up a whopping 35 points in the first half on Jon Heacock’s group. In the second half, however, Heacock had other ideas. The defense held the Sooners to just 7 points, and forced 2 turnovers to set the offense up with great field position to mount their comeback. Oklahoma was held scoreless in the 4th quarter, just their 2nd scoreless quarter of the season, and was contained to just 2 plays of more than 13 yards, both of which were on the lone scoring drive of the half.

Breece Hall

Breece Hall is just a freshman, folks.

99 carries. 585 yards. 7 touchdowns.

14 catches. 153 yards.

Keep in mind, he had just 18 carries (11 against Northern Iowa) in the first 4 games of the season. He added 18 carries for 110 yards against Oklahoma, and surpassed David Montgomery for 2nd all time in freshman rushing yards in Cyclone history.

4th Quarter. “Never Give Up” attitude

I’m just going to leave you with this statement from Head Coach, Matt Campbell

That’s my freaking Head Coach.

What Went Wrong

1st Half

Iowa State got down 20-0 to Baylor, and despite an incredible comeback, couldn’t hang on to win.

Just 5 games later, Iowa State got down 35-14 to Oklahoma, and a very similar ending was found.

This team has such a great capability on offense, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t start the game like they need to in order to beat the teams that are battling with them in the Big 12. Maybe they just need an extra cup of coffee in the morning or something, I don’t know, but going down 20+ points to Big 12 offenses hasn’t worked out, and I don’t see it working out anytime soon.

Forcing Turnovers

Okay, I know Lawrence White had the massive interception to get the ball back to set up the final drive. I know Zach Peterson forced a fumble of CeeDee Lamb to set up the drive to cut it to a 7 point game, but damn it sucks to see a defense this talented fall short on so many great opportunities. That includes this drop from White earlier in the game, that Lamb ended up grabbing. Eisworth and Bickham also just missed what could’ve been key interceptions in the game. DBs play defense for a reason, but some of these balls you have to come down with, and Iowa State just hasn’t done that consistently this season.

Tackling

Oh boy. There were a couple of plays in this game that really shouldn’t have been as big as they were. This CeeDee Lamb touchdown started with incredibly soft zone coverage, and then a good move and a few missed tackles later, Lamb was in the end zone.

Or this 48 yard touchdown run from Kennedy Brooks

OU is the best offense Iowa State plays all year, but these are the plays that kill you when you’re trying to pull off a Top 10 upset on the road.

Weekly Grades

Offense: A- (if only for that slow start)

Defense: C (A for the 2nd half, F for the 1st)

Special Teams: B+ (Rivera was up and down, kickers did what was needed)

Going for the Win: Right call

Penalties: F

Loss: This one Hurts