Outside of all the actual takeaways Iowa State had in their big win, here are some other notes to keep track of as the Cyclones try to continue turning around their season.
1. The season relies on Tom Farniok’s health.
For the casual football fan, lines may not seem that important since they are the least paid attention to and the media loves to focus on skill players. It makes sense, there’s more things to talk about in a quarterback than an offensive guard. But when Farniok came into the game, the offensive line looked much more attached and opened up room for Aaron Wimberly to showcase his speed. Farniok makes big blocks and keeps the young offensive line in check; he’s an absolute necessity for them to succeed in the Big 12.
2. Sam Richardson is one tough son of a bitch.
Pardon my language, but there’s no else to describe it. I did not expect that gritty of performance by Richardson. He fights for the first downs when running and he’ll deliver a well-thrown ball when he knows a defender is about to jack him up. Yes, his throws were inaccurate and lots of them that he made were to wide open targets, but he’s not backing down even when not playing at 100 percent. If he can withstand the pain and not do anything stupid to get seriously injured, I’m all in.
3. Every critic should tell Courtney Messingham that they’re sorry.
Seriously, congratulate the guy on a well-called game. Send him a thank-you card at least. I’ve heard plenty of fans drill him in person, on message boards, and during radio call-ins.
4. Schedule more non-conference games in non-threatening venues.
Even if Tulsa was 3-0 coming off of an upset against Oklahoma, the stadium wouldn’t be rocking with a capacity of 30,000. Iowa State is generally never a good road team, and with all the fighting they have to do in Big 12 stadiums, it would be very wise to keep scheduling road games at smaller schools like Tulsa. There was zero intimidation at H.A. Chapman Stadium last night.
5. What in the hell does Iowa State do with their field goal kicking situation?
Congrats to Cole Netten for nailing the 40-yard kick as a third time proved to be a charm. But if there is ever a field goal attempt longer than 35 yards, I’d almost hope the Cyclones take their chances and go for it if it’s 4th-and-manageable.