Iowa State heads to Lawrence to take on the doormat of the Big 12 in the Kansas Jayhawks. The Cyclones are coming off of a close loss to Oklahoma State last week, while Kansas is a week removed from a blowout loss to rivals Kansas State.
I don’t know what the allowed attendance is at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, but they sure did pack all 8 of those Kansas fans in there!
Now that I got that out of the way, the Jayhawks would start on offense, led by freshman QB Jalon Daniels. The stingy Iowa State defense starts out showing a little spark, allowing just 4 yards and a near INT by Isheem Young.
Brock Purdy and Iowa State would takeover after a KU punt, setting up shop at their own 20. They wasted no time, with Purdy slinging the ball to the flats more than Alex Smith, with Landon Akers catching a few passes that would eventually lead to a Kene Nwangwu touchdown run, 7-0 good guys.
The second Kansas possession saw more of the same from the Iowa State defense, forcing another 3 and out. SIKE! Isheem Young lays the boom and forces a fumble, recovered by Greg Eisworth to give the Cyclones the ball back at the KU 35 yard line. Breece Hall got the first two carries of the drive to get Iowa State within the 5 yard line, where Brock Purdy kept the read option and took it in for 6, touchdown ‘Clones. The PAT never happened so we won’t mention that. 13-0 Cyclones not even halfway through the first quarter.
This time, that rock chalkin’ offense was able to run 4 plays before punting for the 3rd time in 3 possessions. The Iowa State offense kept the ball moving once again, but a big penalty would force ISU to punt for the first time, into the wind. After a short punt, KU would start with the ball in Iowa State territory, but Jaquan Bailey forced himself into the backfield for a big sack on 3rd down to force the Jayhawks 4th punt of the quarter. At the end of the first quarter, Iowa State leads 13-0 and Brock Purdy is yet to throw an incomplete pass (8-8, 81 yards).
Of course I jinxed that and the first play of the second quarter ended Brock’s perfection. After a solid drive, Iowa State could not convert on a 4th and 4 play, KU football. Kansas was once again not able to get the ball moving, until a big 4th down conversion that would set them up inside the Iowa State 5 yard line. A rare occasion of poor tackling would allow Daniel Hishaw Jr. to put points on the board, 13-7 Cyclones.
A short kickoff would give Iowa State decent field position, and it was more of the same would come from Tom Manning’s offense. A good mix of running the ball and throwing the ball to move the chains time and time again. Not many big plays on the drive, but a nice, slow paced, methodical drive ended with a Brock Purdy to Charlie Kolar redzone connection to extend ISU’s lead, 20-7.
Kansas would get the ball with 4 minutes left in the first half, and they would capitalize about as best they could without scoring, before being unable to convert on a 4th and 15. Just kidding, O’rien Vance got one of the softest roughing the passer call that would keep the Jayhawk drive moving. Jacob Borcila was unable to connect from 33 yards to close out the first half, 20-7 at the break.
Iowa State would get the ball to start the second half, where they would quickly be forced to punt after gaining a first down on the first play. KU’s offense stalled once again, and the Cyclones get the ball right back via punt. The next drive started with the Iowa State offense getting hot, moving the ball effectively before running into a 4th down, where Brock Purdy finds Xavier “Get Off Me, You Bum” Hutchinson on a slant and he took it to the house after breaking a tackle, touchdown Cyclones! 27-7, midway through 3 quarters.
Iowa State’s special teams continue to struggle, this time giving up a 102 yard kickoff return by Kenny Logan Jr. to keep Kansas in the game. 27-14 the score. Let’s check in on Wide Right & Natty Lite Special Teams
Coach guru, Matt Nelson:
How do we still not have a special teams coach. How— Matt Nelson (@MNelson_ISU) October 31, 2020
Luckily, Iowa State’s offense did not miss a beat and continued to move the ball through the air and on the ground. Brock Purdy and Kene Nwangwu led the drive, before Breece Hall takes the handoff 7 yards to the endzone. The ensuing 2 point conversion attempt was good on a Purdy-Kolar hookup to put the Whirlybirds up, 35-14.
This time, the special teams did their job and didn’t even let Kansas return the ball. After just one offensive play,
Mike Rose forces a fumble that’s recovered by O’Rien Vance and gives ISU the ball deep in KU territory nothing happened. Isheem Young avoids a targeting but he would go down with an injury, Arnold Azunna steps in. A few plays later, Greg Eisworth finds himself in the right spot at the right time, intercepting his first pass of the season to halt the Kansas drive.
That Tom Petty music is playin’, onto the 4th quarter.
Iowa State started the final stanza with a Joe Rivera punt. The Jayhawks return the favor and punts to Greg Eisworth who nearly breaks off a big return before being tripped up around midfield.
Iowa State put together a solid drive before being forced to kick a field goal, Connor Assalley connecting from 41 yards out, 38-14 Cyclones.
The ensuing Kansas drive showed a lot of big plays and Jon Heacock’s defense was unable to get a stop before Jalon Daniels fakes an option pitch to maneuver his way to the end zone. The 2 point conversion attempt was good, on an unorthodox reverse pass to make it a two possession game, 38-22.
Iowa State did not have to worry about recovering an onside kick as it goes out of bounds, they take over with just under 8 minutes to play. Brock Purdy then gambles a little too much and is picked off for the Cyclones first giveaway on the day. The Jayhawks offense just goes backwards and is forced to punt for the 6th time.
Breece Hall would need just one attempt to take it to the house, 58 yards for the score. 45-22 with 5 minutes to go. Kansas punts for the 7th and final time. Hunter Dekkers enters the game for the first time in his career. His first play was a 25 yard pass to QB converted tight end, Easton Dean. Joey Scates then gets some redemption and Dekkers finds him for a touchdown, 52-22 with 2 minutes left. Backdoor cover is in play (ISU -27.5). Kansas runs the clock out, Cyclones win! 52-22 and more importantly, they cover. Good teams win, great teams cover (shoutout Jared Witke).
Breece Hall finishes with 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 21 carries, Brock Purdy 23-34 with 239 yards with 3 total touchdowns, and Xavier Hutchinson leads the way receiving with 5 catches, 87 yards, and a touchdown.
The Cyclones move to 4-2 and will face off against the Baylor Bears (6:00 PM CT, FS1), next Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium.