Boy if there was ever a time this team needed to play Kansas, the week after that ending in Waco would definitely be it. Thanks, schedule makers. Now next time don’t give us a bye in Brocktober, please. So let’s take a look at the Cyclones’ first home night game taking on the Kansas Jayhawks.
What Went Wrong
Okay, okay, okay. So the rush defense wasn’t awful... but in a 52 point win, I’m going to be nit-picky in this segment. Kansas, despite the score, was committed to being a run-first team, and I can respect that. Iowa State wasn’t really prepped for the run after jumping all over the Jayhawks in the first fifteen minutes of the game. Granted, Kansas only averaged four yards per carry, but totaling 175 yards is nothing to scoff at. Okay, maybe Breece Hall had 123 by himself to the 175 for Kansas as a team, but 175 yards is still 175 yards. Again, Iowa State probably wasn’t planning for Kansas to run the ball while down thirty-eight to nothing at the half, but that was clearly the Jayhawks’ gameplan.
Corey Dunn, Cameron Shook, it doesn't matter. I’m convinced Iowa State isn’t going to average over forty yards a punt in a game this season. Shook took all three punts for the Cyclones on Saturday and his long was forty-nine with an average of thirty-nine (point seven). I don’t know, maybe I need to go ask Matt to walk on as a punter. I don’t know who the answer is, I don’t know what the solution is, I can’t tell Matt how to coach just like I can’t tell the punters how to punt... but thirty-nine yards a punt can’t be all we can muster, can it? When Dunn and Shook are bad, they’re really bad. Something needs to change when Iowa State needs to punt.
What Went Right
Brock MF Purdy
I don’t even care that it was against Kansas. The man completed four straight passes for touchdowns in the first quarter. I don’t care if that was against UConn or UMass or whoever, that’s a damn impressive stat. Beyond that, though, I thought Brock played his best game of the season. Went through his progressions so much better, found open receivers, didn’t force the ball into tight windows, and even used his feet to extend plays and even pick up a first down or two. He even hit on the deep ball finding speedster Joe Scates for a forty-four-yard touchdown in that electric first quarter. It was all smooth sailing from there for Brock and the offense, and it was just the game they needed to just keep the momentum up.
About time a dumb fumble went our way, isn’t it? Kansas quarterback Jason Bean had a mishandled snap in the first quarter that he was able to fall on top of. The very next play while evading a rush and extending the play, he just flat-out dropped the ball. No one was particularly close to him, he just dropped it. Zach Peterson was Mr. Right Place Right Time and jumped on it, setting up the Cyclones for their second scoring drive.
Not only that, freshman Kym-Mani King (who has been terrific this season by the way) got himself his first interception robbing Kansas of (likely) their first points of the game with six fifty-four left in the first half.
I think Matt Campbell and Eric Heft in the postgame on Cyclone Radio summed up Enyi really well. I don’t remember the exact quotes, but they really hammered the fact that Enyi didn’t have to come back for the season. He chose to come back and he’s absolutely making the most of it. He’s had such a tremendous impact on Iowa State’s ability to stuff the run, soaking up double teams and opening up the possibilities for guys on the outside to contain the outside game while also letting the linebackers fill the holes and get upfield to make tackles. Not only that, he’s filling up the stat sheet himself. He’s already matched his season-high with three sacks and is well on his way to a season-high for total tackles with twenty through five games. Not only this, he had probably Cyclone Nation’s favorite play of the day with the blocked field goal. Something to get the special teams unit back on track. What a season he’s having. Thank you, Enyi. Cyclone Nation is happy to have you back.
Just a little something that flew under the radar on Saturday. How about the field goal unit at the end of the half? I mean that’s a terrible spot to be in rushing onto the field to try and squeeze some points out of the half and they were right on the money. Well done guys, let’s keep that up the rest of the year. Bravo.