After falling down to a 21-0 deficit right out of the gate, the Iowa State football team finally showed heart in a thrilling comeback that featured defensive stops and depth from the running back position that hasn’t been seen all season long. When both teams took the field in the second half, the Cyclones reverted back to their old ways of poor tackling and let the Cowboys run all over them as they pulled away.
Desmond Roland may have emerged as the leading running back for Oklahoma State, pouring it on during the third quarter and finished with 219 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries. He was responsible for putting the dagger in on a 58-yard run in the middle of the third quarter that made it 38-20 OSU.
Iowa State left plenty of receivers wide open for Clint Chelf to dominate, but he was simply off-target through most of the game. They finally brought the pressure in the second quarter. He finished the day with 10 of 25 completions for just 78 yards with one touchdown and one pick.
Again, most of that was in the first half since Iowa State couldn’t stop the Cowboys’ running attack in the second half. Chelf actually had more yards picked up on the ground, scrambling eight times for 84 yards.
The potential to actually pull of the upset deflated when Sam Richardson went out of the game. He suffered a late hit with about eight minutes left in the second quarter that likely got him concussed. He never made it back to the field, and it was very clear that Grant Rohach is simply not ready to be under center.
Aaron Wimberly not being able to play also hurt the offense. Shontrelle Johnson and DeVondrick Nealy showed some glimpses of finally stepping up, but disappeared just like the defense did in the second half.
This is a team that will simply struggle to find a way to win a game the rest of the way. They’re banged up from injuries in all kinds of positions. The offensive line has zero consistency. Sam Richardson has been injured since day one. The running back position has been a mess. The defense, in general, can’t play a whole 60 minutes despite a great effort in the first half.
They’ll be lucky to find another win this season. Anything beyond a 2-10 season will be luck, and it has become a real unfortunate step back in the Paul Rhoads era. Before relying on all the recruits that are coming in to save the program, an evaluation of the coaching staff is definitely in order.
Paul Rhoads is definitely the guy to still man the ship, but some of the crew may need to be switched around. There’s only so many failed option attempts and missed tackles that need to be seen.