Everything was there for the Iowa State football team to claim their fourth road victory against a ranked opponent in four consecutive seasons, but the offense became completely stagnant in the second half when the running game went away.
Davis Webb ended up getting the start for Texas Tech at quarterback, and the air raid offense flew just like so many other quarterbacks have done with the Red Raiders. Webb completed 35 of 56 pass attempts for 415 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
It wasn’t an efficient day, but it didn’t need to be. Texas Tech ran 101 total offensive plays, 23 more than Iowa State. The Cyclones defense gave up 666 total yards; the most mind-blowing thing about that is the Red Raiders had 251 rushing yards. Much of that was due to poor tackling and many of those yards came after contact.
Some of the defensive woes were due to the offense’s inability to get anything going in the second half.
With Aaron Wimberly getting banged up in the first half, he was only seen very early in the third quarter. It turned out that Wimberly was suffering from back and shoulder pain and couldn’t go. He finished the day with 19 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown.
That led to Sam Richardson having to throw more. The offense completely abandoned the run with just 14 attempts on the ground in the entire second half. Many drives contained just one rushing attempt.
Sam Richardson completed 15 of 38 passes for just 168 yards and one touchdown. With having to pick up the workload in the second half, it was clear that he aggravated his ankle injury and couldn’t step into his throws. So many were overthrown or fell short, but he also faced a lot of pressure from a very strong Texas Tech defensive line.
It’s disappointing because there were so many chances that were given to ISU. After giving up a touchdown early, Jarvis West had a kickoff return for a touchdown, the first time that’s happened in 19 years. Webb made mistakes early in the game to put the Cyclones in great position to score.
Everything felt like it was going to be another crazy victory under Paul Rhoads, especially with the game tied at 21 at halftime. Instead, things fell apart for the offense. They still were able to score 35 points, and even had a chance late in the game to steal a victory, but Deon Broomfield couldn’t hang on to one of the most beautiful onside kicks I’ve ever seen.
Things have gotten really sour for the Cyclones this season. Now sitting at 1-4 after the first five games and an 0-2 start in Big 12 play, realistic bowl game hopes can be thrown out the window.
Even worse, the team’s best players are banged up once again. It doesn’t get any easier next week for the Cyclones when they visit Waco to take on the undefeated Baylor Bears.