Oklahoma State takes a 17-10 lead over 24th-ranked Iowa State into halftime at Stillwater.
Oct 20, 2012; Stillwater OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (1) runs for yardage against Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Jake Knott (20) during the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE
Why are the Cyclones behind at the half?
After getting that early touchdown in the first three minutes of the game, the offense has been unable to sustain a really good drive. The defense has also given up a lot of yards and giving the Cowboys plenty of scoring opportunities. OSU already has over 300 yards of offense; that’s completely unacceptable if Iowa State still wants to win this game. Thanks to a strip by Deon Broomfield when Josh Stewart caught a pass and was inside the five yard line to try and get a touchdown, this game remains at just a seven-point difference.
How did Jared Barnett play in the first half?
I’d give him an average grade of “C.” The first drive was very good, opening up shop with a 35-yard toss to Quenton Bundrage and made a brilliant read by keeping the ball just outside of the redzone and almost running it in himself. Woody would later get the touchdown.
Then, we saw Barnett revert to last week. Passes were wildly inaccurate (mostly underthrown), even when he was finally rolling out to pass. It’s getting to the point where these receivers are not even getting a chance to catch the ball, and he was lucky that a few passes weren’t intercepted.
On the fifth drive of the half, it finally looked like Barnett found his rhythm, but a holding call stalled the drive. Maybe some of that momentum will carry to the second half. In fairness, Barnett already has three more yards passing than what he had all game against Kansas State last week.
What are the keys to turning this around in the second half?
Establish the run – Iowa State only has 42 yards rushing, and this team needs to sustain a drive to help out the defense. Barnett needs to continue to roll out on passes but just be smarter. Lofting it up like he did on his final pass of the first half is a freshman mistake. There’s a difference between trying to make a play and costing your team a game.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.