Game XII: Iowa State (6-5, 4-4) vs. TCU (5-6, 3-5)
Date: Saturday, November 6th, 2021
Time: 3:30PM CST
Location: Jack Trice Stadium
Line: ISU (-14.5)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network
When we last left off...
Iowa State fell short of a comeback as Brock Purdy threw an interception with 20 seconds left on a high pass intended for Chase Allen. The Sooners took down Iowa State 28-21. Iowa State struggled to protect Brock Purdy in the first half. He was sacked several times and eventually would leave the game to be checked for a concussion. Hunter Dekkers would come in and lead Iowa State on one scoring drive before Brock Purdy returned for two more drives. Another close loss that Iowa State battled until the end.
Well, TCU is on the struggle bus. Gary Patterson is gone and several key players will not be playing on Saturday. You get the sense that this is a team that just wants to get out of the season and get a fresh start in 2022. Though they are one win from a bowl birth.
TCU leads the all-time series 8-4. Iowa State currently has a two-game win streak over the Horned Frogs.
Iowa State Offense
Iowa State once again moved the ball through the air. Iowa State’s offensive line could protect just enough after struggling most of the day for Iowa State to throw for over 300 yards. What was one of the biggest differences in the game offensively for Iowa State was the lack of the rushing attack. Iowa State was held to 51 yards on the ground and the offensive line could not open a hole to save their lives. A problem that has been around all season long. Let’s make that change on Friday.
First Key To Victory - Run The Ball Effectively
TCU does not stop the run effectively whatsoever. The Horned Frogs continually get gashed on the ground. There will be an opportunity for Iowa State to get things moving in the right direction on the ground before the bowl game. Breece Hall also needs one more touchdown on the ground to break the NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown. So let’s get it done.
With the recent surge in the passing game due to the lack of production on the ground, the Cyclone passing attack has made the move to be one of the top 25 passing offenses in the country. While there have been some interceptions along the way, Brock Purdy has been a warrior in leading the charge and keeping Iowa State in each of the last two losses. Saturday comes his final time leading this offense at Jack Trice Stadium, enjoy it Cyclone fans.
Normally when you think TCU, you think defense. Well, not so much this season. You could run a garbage truck through the Horned Frog defense and probably have some success. (Editor’s note: I would assume most football players would have difficulty tackling a garbage truck?)
TCU not only allows over five yards per rush which is near the bottom of Division 1. Teams have been rushing for well over 200 yards every game with over 40 rushing plays. Teams have just stuck with the run and kept coming at this TCU defense. Something that we haven’t normally seen from a defense in Fort Worth.
Rushing issues aside, their ability to stop teams from chucking the ball on them is not much better. TCU gives up over 9 yards per pass attempt. While teams haven’t thrown for a ton of yardage per game because of the ability to run the ball on TCU if Iowa State runs into issues on the ground this game certainly presents some opportunity for Brock Purdy and company to make a move.
The Verdict - Iowa State
What we have seen from Iowa State this season isn’t going to change. The tendencies are there and it is game 12. While some things may be frustrating about some challenges this offense has had, TCU has even more. Iowa State should have a decent day offensively.
Iowa State Defense
Though it might not have shown on the scoreboard, last week was definitely one of the better weeks for Jon Heacock’s defense. 21 points given up by the defense is the fewest in the series since Matt Campbell has been at Iowa State. Caleb Williams was an abysmal 9/19 with 96 yards to go with 1 touchdown and a pick. That’s the best Iowa State has defended an OU quarterback in the passing game since probably ever. If you told me Caleb Williams was a non-factor in the passing game, I would have told you we won handily.
Second Key To Victory - Do The Same As Last Week
However, Oklahoma had the most yards per carry since Matt Campbell came to Ames. At 7.7 yards per carry (granted a 76 yard run by Caleb Williams boosts this), you’re not going to win many football games. The run defense for Iowa State just wasn’t there on Saturday and a couple of bounces didn’t go our way. I mean, Will McDonald getting a strip-sack in the endzone only for a Sooner lineman (who Will McDonald son’d) picks it up and avoids a safety or a defensive touchdown.
Anyway, the Cyclones defense has been declining in the rankings in yards per play, but still remains in the top 40 in both yards per play against the run and yards per play against the pass. Iowa State is sitting at a 37% pressure percentage, racking up 2.5 sacks per game. Jon Heacock still has that defense cookin’, so don’t go calling for his job.
TCU is...down bad. Some might even say down atrocious. We have seen the end of the Gary Patterson era, and I think the general feel around the program is that they are ready for this season to be over. Which is understandable. Their offense has slowly been taking steps backward throughout the season. Whether it has been due to injuries or simply just Gary Patterson leaving, things have been odd for our friends down in Fort Worth this season.
Max Duggan went from being the dude to not being the dude, back to being the starter. The Council Bluffs native has thrown 1,832 yards, completing 64.7% of passes with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Duggan broke his foot back on October 9th in a game against Texas Tech, but has refused to get surgery until after the season. For what it’s worth, he said he’s not transferring and plans to compete for the starting job come next fall. So, shoutout to him for not backing down from anything. It’s good to see for a change when most kids would just transfer.
That brings us to the running backs, which is kind of a shit show for the Horned Frogs. Just a few weeks back, they didn’t have any scholarship running backs available. Zach Evans has led TCU in rushing with 641 yards and 5 touchdowns but has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Kendre Miller appears to be the next guy up, as he has 623 yards on 83 attempts and 7 scores. The freshman is coming off of a solid performance against Kansas, running the ball 12 times for 112 yards and a touchdown.
The Verdict - Iowa State
This is the last time this defense will take the field at Jack Trice Stadium. Not a chance they leave anything on that field. I think Mike Rose and the gang take care of business here.
Look there isn’t much to say here anymore. We have kicker/punter/running back in Andrew Mevis that is a not-so-secret weapon. Enough said.
The Verdict - Iowa State
Winning Scale from 1 to 10
The odds of us winning are as good as me gaining 10 pounds over the holiday weekend.
TCU has struggled all season and may just be looking to get on with the next chapter. It’s going to be an emotional day at Jack Trice Stadium as the greatest senior class in Iowa State history will play their final game in Ames. No way Iowa State drops this one.
Iowa State - 34