After a promising 17-7 start for Iowa State after the first quarter, no one anticipated this kind of agonizing defeat. Unless you’re a Cyclones fan.
It’s the second straight bowl game where Iowa State ended up playing flat for most of the game with no help from the quarterback position. Sam Richardson went 10-21 passing for 129 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Take away the huge 69-yard touchdown by Ernst Brun, and the stat line looks much weaker: 9-20 for 60 yards. He only had 15 yards passing in both second and third quarters.
Running the ball, the team didn’t hit the century mark once again. Richardson had the most – 10 attempts for 46 yards – and James White had the same amount of attempts for 10 less yards.
Tulsa dominated from the second quarter on and did on the ground. They picked up over 300 yards combined; Trey Watts led the way with 149 yards on 25 attempts. Alex Singleton was the endzone pounder, grabbing three of the Golden Hurricanes’ four touchdowns on the ground.
Senior quarterback Steele Jantz for Iowa State, who was benched earlier in the season, couldn’t provide a spark after coming in the fourth quarter. He had a couple of first down passes but he had an interception and fumble to end two of his three drives. Considering his turnover-filled career, it was a very fitting end.
No momentum was gained by Iowa State and even more questions arise at the quarterback position. Richardson didn’t handle the pass rush at all and a number of throws were completely off. The only thing that’s promising is that it was only his second game he’s started and this was by far the toughest defense he’s faced.
Going through the entire offseason, as long as Richardson can win the quarterback battle, he might be better prepared. The reason why Richardson wasn’t starting most of the season is because the coaches didn’t believe he was ready, and that showed blatantly today.
Iowa State finishes the season at a very disappointing 6-7, and the team is now 1-2 in bowl games under Paul Rhoads. Overall, the team falls to 3-9 in bowl games. After the spring game, the 2013 season opens up with Northern Iowa on Saturday, August 31st.