After the utter disappointment of losing on the longest kick in the FBS this season, Iowa State didn’t get much time to regroup as they head to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on one of the conference’s last hopes at making the College Football Playoff, the Oklahoma Sooners.
What Went Wrong
I can’t remember if it was in a tweet or an article or what, but I had recently seen somewhere that the Iowa State offensive line had received praise because they’d only allowed 12 sacks through 10 games this season. In a season that’s included the defenses of Oklahoma State and Iowa, on top of eight other games, you’d look at that and agree. At face value, that’s pretty damn good.
Anyone who has watched Iowa State’s season unfold knows that Brock Purdy has largely been why that number is so low. If there were a “sacks escaped” stat (there might be, I have no idea), Brock might be leading by double whoever would be second. Saturday was no different. Iowa State gave up seven sacks, five of which came in the first half, as the Sooners’ front seven was all over Brock Purdy and Breece Hall in the backfield. Seven sacks. Eleven tackles for loss. Absolutely inexcusable. It’s been a problem all year, and it bit the Cyclones on Saturday.
Okay, so the offensive line had a bad day, and the defensive line wasn’t much better. The Sooners’ dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, taking advantage of the Cyclones’ three down lineman. Kennedy Brooks gashed the Cyclones for a hundred and fifteen yards on just seventeen carries, picking up nearly seven yards per carry. What Breece Hall does to most teams, Kennedy Brooks did to Iowa State because there was very little contain (especially on the edges) in the run game. They did do quite well containing Caleb Williams, which was a pleasant surprise, but it came after the freshman found a MASSIVE hole on the third play of the game and coasted seventy-four yards, erasing the Cyclones’ early seven point lead.
Yikes... Turnovers once again not a bright spot for the Cyclones on Saturday. Brock had another “TCU” moment at the end of the 1st half this week when trying to make an aggressive play to get points on the board, and in doing so got absolutely creamed (a common theme on the day) losing the ball as Oklahoma scooped and scored, putting the Cyclones down seven and giving the ball right back to Williams and Co. out of the half. On top of that miscue, both Purdy and Dekkers had throws that sailed on them resulting in interceptions. Dekkers on the first of two drives he played (scored on the other) and Purdy on the final drive of the game on fourth down where he missed an open Chase Allen that would’ve kept the drive alive. A fitting end to the game as game-sealing interceptions seem to be the theme with these two teams.
What Went Right
Okay, so the secondary hasn’t been fantastic this year. Everyone knows that. They were pretty damn good on Saturday, though. Against the high-flying Sooners offense, the Cyclones allowed just nine total completions (Williams - 8, Rattler - 1) for just ninety-six yards and Craig McDonald even grabbed his second interception of the year off a nice deflection from linebacker Jake Hummel. If you’d have told me on Friday that Marvin Mims and Jadon Haselwood would combine for two catches and thirty-six yards, I’d have laughed in your face. You couldn’t have possibly convinced me that Oklahoma would’ve had one single completion of more than twenty yards, and frankly, that number still baffles me.
It also baffles me how much blame Brock gets for games like Saturday. The man played almost a full game of football (except for two drives while being evaluated for a concussion) while getting absolutely lit up on every dropback. The man made two mistakes (albeit very crucial ones) in the entire thirty-eight minutes that the offense had the ball all while throwing for almost three hundred yards and completing close to seventy-five percent of his passes (30/43).
Not many quarterbacks could've been hit as hard and as often as Purdy was on Saturday while putting up those kinds of numbers and still leading a potential game-tying drive in the final minute. Brock has, is, and always will be one of the single greatest warriors this school has ever seen. I absolutely love watching him play, and knowing we aren’t going to be seeing stuff like this from him in a Cyclone jersey after this year makes me quite sad... So let’s enjoy it while we still have it...
Charlie MF Kolar
So about another one of the seniors...
Mackey Award Voters? I’d like to show you the last two games of Charlie Kolar’s season, please. Nineteen snags, two-hundred and twenty-eight yards, and he’s even found the end zone three times bringing his yearly stat line to 53/658/5. Not only has Kolar been the guy Purdy has gone to the most the last two weeks, but he’s also been the go-to guy when Purdy needs a completion his whole career. If what Kolar has done the last two weeks (or the year as a whole) isn’t enough to clinch him the Mackey, there’s nothing a Cyclone can do that WILL win the Mackey.
Offense: C+ (O-line gets an F-)
Defense: A- (quite good aside from the Williams run)
Special Teams: A++ (GIVE ANDREW MEVIS THE HEISMAN)
Andrew Mevis : 3 punts for 143 yards, downed one inside the 20 & a 29-yard fake punt run on 4th & 7 pic.twitter.com/H3hrpDbVlx— Lee Harvey (@AyeThatsLee) November 20, 2021
Breece Hall: Wide Receiver 1? (23 straight with a TD btw)
BREECE HALL ONE-HAND— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 20, 2021