EDITOR’S NOTE: Instant reactions will normally be posted right after the game, but due to personal reasons I watched this game at a later time and posted a reaction right after. So it’s a delayed reaction. Hence the title, instant (delayed) reaction.
Here is my petition to remove Northern Iowa and North Dakota State off future schedules.
More from Football
- Iowa State football: DeVondrick Nealy, Tad Ecby leave the program
- National Signing Day 2015: Iowa State picks up stealth RB from California
- Iowa State football: 2015 National Signing Day tracker
- Iowa State football recruiting: Cyclones gain 3-star Kansas OT commitment
- Iowa State football recruiting: Cyclones pick up Florida defensive tackle
Just because both teams have the FCS label by them doesn’t mean they are worse teams. Yes, FBS teams should have the better talent and should beat these teams with relative ease, but you’re not going to have that when a couple of FCS programs have outsmarted spread offenses.
The Bison are obviously not lucky by winning five straight FBS games — they know how to do it. They have the perfect system. Their old-school power offense is made to grind down defenses, and Iowa State’s ended up being completely lifeless in the second half.
North Dakota State had a major momentum swing early in the second quarter when John Crockett took it to the house in his 80-yard scamper to the endzone on the Bison’s first play of the game. They fueled on that turn and it became their game.
Early on, the Bison tried to take control of the game by running down the play clock continually until about five or six ticks were left. They couldn’t do it in the first quarter, but they sustained their game plan and once they continued to hammer the defensive line, the weakest part of Iowa State’s defense, and there was nothing the Cyclones could do about it.
Iowa State’s offense didn’t help either. After a great start, NDSU continued to creep into the Cyclones’ backfield as soon as Tom Farniok went out. That added pressure and forced Sam Richardson to eventually make bad throws.
Aug 30, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Sam B. Richardson (12) throws around North Dakota State Bison defensive end D
Both interceptions weren’t all his fault though — both of them were tipped. The first one you could argue was a bad throw to begin with, but Allen Lazard’s one-handed grab kept the eventual second pick in the air too long.
NDSU’s defense is already rock solid, coming off of another great season with the majority of their starters. They fed on Iowa State flattening in the second half.
ISU’s offense couldn’t get things moving, and that kept the already weak defense on the field. It’s pretty easy to figure out the formula to why NDSU racked up a yard shy of 500 yards on the Cyclone defense.
The Bison have the perfect gameplan to beat spread offensive teams like Iowa State. The Cyclones couldn’t keep their momentum from the first quarter going because as soon as things got away from them, they didn’t give themselves a chance to get back in the game. NDSU won’t let many teams do that because of how they control tempo.
Yes, Cyclone Nation will be in a world of hurt this weekend and the upcoming week after this loss. Negative reaction is all over the place — more of the same as last year, the defense still sucks, someone will probably put up FirePaulRhoads.com.
But there’s still a long season ahead. A lot can happen between now and the first weekend of December.
Bottom line is Iowa State got beat by a team that’s a lot better than them. NDSU would have also beaten Illinois, Indiana, Purdue — they would have beaten half of these FBS teams with how they play. That’s why Iowa State needs to remove these great FCS schools and start scheduling Buffalo or weaker FCS teams like Western Illinois.
Perhaps just getting an easy win to open the season can give this team a morale boost instead of getting thoroughly tested. Digging through the FCS library and picking out North Dakota State to play is like trying to read Moby Dick after it’s been translated to Japanese and then back to English. Why go through torture when a Berenstain Bears chapter book is available instead.