Things certainly went better down in Fort Worth than they did a few weeks ago against Louisiana. Let’s take a look at a few key things from Saturday.
JaQuan Bailey is on a mission.
When healthy, JaQuan Bailey has been great during his time in Ames. Though this seems different, he should do whatever he did during his offseason program at home, forever. The man looks the best he has ever looked as a Cyclone. He is getting off the ball, beating tackles on the outside and using moves to beat them on the inside. It doesn’t matter where they put him; he is creating pressure. While he did slow down a bit in the second half, the presence was still there. Oh, did we mention he became the all time career sack leader for Iowa State? Yeah, the dude is looking to get paid next year and I am all for it.
Run to win.
Iowa State’s best chance to win may be running the ball, though it does sound weird to say that with Brock Purdy running the show (more on that later). There is one thing Iowa State has done well in each game this season and that is run the ball. The run blocking has been phenomenal and that is with two guys moved around, Trevor Downing out and maybe not even their best lineup out there yet. If Iowa State is going to keep the ball rolling through the Big 12, they will need to keep repeating Saturday. Good opportunity once again this weekend against an Oklahoma defense that isn’t that strong against the run.
Time for the Brock Purdy of old.
Statistically Brock Purdy has been ok. Nothing really has been detrimental there. It just doesn’t feel like we have the Brock Purdy was have been used to seeing the last two seasons yet. In two games it feels like Brock has made more mental mistakes this season than the two years prior combined. Whether it was the fumble on Saturday or risky passes into heavy coverage, Purdy just seems out of whack a bit. Iowa State will have a far better chance to make a run at the Big 12 title game as soon as Brock Purdy returns to form. Will need to happen before Saturday, preferably.