If you came to this recap article because you missed the game, nothing you see here is going to help fill in the picture of an extremely troubling 10-9 home loss to Kansas State under the lights at Jack Trice Stadium.
There is really only one story to write here, and it is a story about a boring, predictable offense and an incompetent play caller.
Before this football game, if someone said to you: “Iowa State will minimize penalties, not turn the ball over, be good on special teams, and hold Kansas State to 10 points”, you are locking up an Iowa State victory and staking your mortgage on it.
Going into this game, I told anyone who would listen (all 3 of them) that this game was not about Kansas State, but that it was about Iowa State. If the Cyclones could cut down on the penalties, the turnovers, and the special teams mistakes, they would win this game.
They did all of that. They finally won in the margins.
And they still lost.
A steady diet of shallow crossing routes, three-yard outs, draws for two yards, and passes short of the sticks was, once again, the main feature of the Cyclone offense. And, once again, it failed to produce anything other than three field goals. Offensive performances like that will almost always negate anything but a shutout pitched by the defense.
Is the problem more nuanced than I am letting on? Sure it is. Xavier Hutchinson continued to not give it to the other team for the second straight game, our offensive line decided to be a turnstile at the worst possible moments, and Hunter Dekkers still struggles with consistency on easy throws.
While they add color to the discussion, they do not change the main point of discourse, which is about the direction the offense is headed.
Clearly, what Tom Manning is cooking up is inedible. And Campbell has shown the ability in the past to make major adjustments when things are not going well. And folks, things are definitely not going well.
Matt Campbell has gone from flavor of the month to stale bread because of a milqetoast offense. Will he take the necessary steps to change its?