Road victories are always sweet, and the Cyclones frosted away a beauty of a game in Cincinatti on Saturday, beating the Bearcats by a final score of 30-10. Iowa State is now on a roll, having won 3-4 conference games headed into their bye week.
Good performances were turned in by all 3 units in this game, evidencing the growth this young team has shown since a dismal road loss to Ohio earlier this season. The Cyclone offense put up 364 yards and only punted the football twice, finishing drives all game long. Special teams were, well, special, as Jaylin Noel gashed the Bearcats in the return game and Chase Contreraz went 3/3 on field goals plus converted on a fake attempt, and the defense nabbed 2 interceptions and held Emory Jones to less than 100 passing yards.
A nice opening drive for the Cyclones resulted in a punt before TJ Tampa intercepted Jones deep in Cincy territory, leading to a field goal. Ben Brahmer almost snagged a one-handed grab Cincinnati would counter, grabbing their only lead of the ballgame on a 10 play, 75-yard drive, scoring on somewhat of a trick play to a tight end.
This would be countered by a Cyclone score, keyed by Cartavious Norton run that nearly went to the house before Rocco Becht kept it for a 2-yard touchdown plunge. Shortly thereafter, Rocco hit Jayden Higgins for a 75 yard catch and run, setting up a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ben Brahmer to put ISU up 17-7 at the half.
After snagging two more field goals on nice drives by the offense, the Cyclones would put the game out of reach with more Jayden Higgins production leading to a 13-yard Stevo Klotz touchdown.
On the day, the Cyclone defense held Cincinnati to 214 yards of total offense, racked up 2 sacks, 6 TFLs, and two interceptions. Rocco Becht was very efficient, moving in the pocket well, making the right reads, and even kept the ball on zone read plays. He would finish going 15-25 for 241 yards, averaging 9.6 per completion en route to throwing two scores and rushing for a third. Jayden Higgins was a monster, bringing in 6 balls for 172 yards.
In all, it was a complete game with sound play from all 3 units, giving them plenty of positive momentum headed into their bye week.