The Jack Trice Legacy Game. The night that so many Cyclone fans had been waiting for. Alternate uniforms, TCU coming to town, a celebration of Jack Trice, and so many other things to look forward to... and boy did it not disappoint. Saturday night was truly a night to remember for Cyclone fans far and wide.
What Went Wrong
1st half offense
You know, I really didn’t want to put anything in the “What Went Wrong” section of this article. There genuinely wasn’t anything while watching the game that I was ever really that upset about. Maybe it was just the vibe in Jack Trice Stadium, but there wasn’t anything that was going to get me down. That said, if I had to put something here, I’d have to look at the offense in the first half.
Don’t get me wrong, the offense wasn’t *bad* the first half, it just wasn’t what it could’ve (or even should’ve) been. Any time your defense starts the game with back-to-back takeaways, you expect the offense to build on that momentum and energy... aaaannnd the offense just kind of fell flat. A quick 3 and out on the opening drive and then a prolonged 3 and out in the 2nd drive before finally capitalizing on the strong defensive start on the 3rd drive with a touchdown. Given how explosive this offense kicked off last week in Norman, the sputtering to start the game on Saturday was a bit of a let down. They picked up as the game went on, but thankfully the defense stepped up early when the offense couldn’t.
Did anyone else feel like we just abandoned what had worked so well the last 2 weeks? I mean, it really didn’t feel to me that Rocco threw the ball beyond about 8-10 yards down the field on Saturday. Granted, the offense eventually got into a rhythm and opened up some running lanes, but the passing game just felt like that same bland, predictable, overused “dink and dunk” stuff that we ran all of last year and the first few games of this year. Obviously, it worked out this week, but I’d really hate to see all that progress from playing OU and OSU wiped away because we went back to averaging under 5 yards per pass and opposing defense can tighten up into the box again... Noel led the team in receptions and yards and had 7 catches for 34 yards. He had 51 in 1 catch a week ago. Not that we *have* to force the ball to win, but if we let teams crash the box again, I fear we’ll re-clog those running lanes and tighten up the windows underneath, making Rocco’s job harder again. Lets’ not do that, shall we?
What Went Right
Okay, okay, okay. I know I’m cheating here, but hear me out. Special teams was great (other than the missed kick, which, oh well), defense was great (forced 4 turnovers, created pressure, gave up just 14 points, 7 of which were in garbage time), run game was great (215 yards on 37 carries), discipline (not committing penalties) was great, crowd was great, defense was great x2, halftime show was great, Juicy Wiggle was great, atmosphere was great, throwback uniforms were great, weather was great, hell, even the team intro was great.
It’s really hard for me to put into words what Saturday night felt like from the stadium and what this weekend meant for Iowa State fans near and far, so I’ll just leave you guys with some of my favorite moments from the big win in the Jack Trice Legacy Game.
Abu Sama TD run
HOUSE CALL ABU SAMA! pic.twitter.com/HQRIvKPCMr— OutCYde the Lines (@OutCYdetheLines) October 8, 2023
Darien Porter’s blocked punt
Recreating ‘The Run’ (and the block)
An unforgettable night, Cyclone Nation you are the best‼️— Iowa State Football (@CycloneFB) October 8, 2023
️ ️ pic.twitter.com/6XYs1OHsoj