A windy day in Jack Trice Stadium created havoc on a pair of already meager teams on offense, but TCU prevailed to keep themselves in contention for a bowl bid and sent the Iowa State Cyclones to their sixth straight loss.
Trevone Boykin had a hat trick for the Horned Frogs, running it into the endzone three times for all of their 21 points. The last score came with just 38 seconds left in the game. TCU got the ball back with 2:44 left in the game after forcing the Cyclones to punt for the 10th time.
Casey Pachall struggled with the wind, but still completed a modest 20 of 36 passes for 245 yards, and had two interceptions. His first was all on him, badly underthrowing it and giving a free ball to Deon Broomfield. The second was all thanks to Jevohn Miller delivering a big tackle on the TCU receiver, forcing it out of his hands and right into Jeremiah George.
The key to defeating TCU was Iowa State’s ability to pass, and boy did that not happen. Grant Rohach received his first start at quarterback, and was incredibly off through most of the day. He finished with 18 of 39 completions for 148 yards and no touchdowns. One could argue that punter Kirby Van Der Kamp had the best throw of the day on a punt fake that set up Sam Richardson to run for a 15-yard touchdown.
That was the only offensive touchdown on the day. DeVondrick Nealy, who was filling in for an injured Jarvis West at kickoff returns, had the team’s second kickoff return for touchdown on the season when the second half began.
It was reported that Richardson, who has been the Cyclones’ starter for the first eight games, had an injured thumb among all the other injuries he’s had this season. He wouldn’t be doing any throwing, and didn’t register a throw all game.
Simply put, it’s the fifth game that Iowa State has lost by one possession, and that’s not the focus of a team that’s gotten their heart broken multiple times. It’s a young team that still hasn’t found a way to win the close games.