All the aspects of Iowa State’s team – offense, defense, and special teams (except Jarvis West, of course) – took a step back in their 42-35 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday.
1. Sam Richardson didn’t look healthy enough to finish the game.
The second half was solely focused on Richardson passing the ball, and it was clear as day that his ankle injury was reaggravated. He even limped at times getting in and out of the huddle. It took the Texas Tech defense to take their final drive of the game off to get anything going in that second half. I believe that Richardson should have been benched, not just because of his performance, but to give that ankle a rest.
2. Why in the world did Courtney Messingham abandon running the ball in the second half?
It’s something that bothered me well after the conclusion of the contest. Why did the Cyclones just run the ball 14 times in the second half? There were so many third-and-long attempts that it’s no surprise they completed just 5 of 18 third down conversions. Yes, Aaron Wimberly went down with an injury after the half, but where’s the deep stable of running backs that we kept talking about before the season? Which leads to…
3. Does Iowa State really have a deep stable of running backs?
Wimberly and Richardson combined with 30 carries for 114 yards and one touchdown. Take away Shontrelle Johnson’s two carries for 20 yards that led to a touchdown after the interception in the fourth quarter. Him, Devondrick Nealy, and James White combined with six carries for six yards. Either there is no depth at running back, or the coaching staff has no trust with any of them past Wimberly.
4. All the improvement by the defense stopping the run was gone.
What in the world happened to the improvement from the past two games? I fully expected the Cyclones to give up around 100 yards on the ground, not over 250. A lot of the tackling was pathetic, and that was happening before the defense was always out on the field because the offense kept going three-and-out.
5. Cole Netten should be an onside kick specialist, not a field goal kicker.
Netten had a horrible day with a missed field goal attempt and whatever the hell that fake field goal thing was. While it might be time to have open field goal tryouts, they need to keep Netten on the team. He should have been rewarded with two onside kicks this season, and the Cyclones should consider bucking the trend and do onside kicks more often than kickoffs.
I’m only halfway joking about that too.