Here are the five most important things we learned in Iowa State’s 49-28 blowout loss to Baylor in Jack Trice Stadium. We talk about how good the Bears just are, running back issues, and fans melting down once again after a loss.
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1. Baylor is just that good.
No matter how you slice it, the Bears are on a different level than the Cyclones. Baylor is the hot commodity that’s on display with the other top talent in the nation, and Iowa State is more like a candy bar that you pick up as you wait in the checkout aisle. Right now, that’s just the way it is.
2. Running back woes make you scratch your head.
Iowa State ended up having over 100 yards rushing, but that was nearly all on Sam Richardson’s scrambles. Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy were absolutely non-existent. Was the Baylor defensive line just that good or will it be an ongoing problem as we get deeper into Big 12 play? If it’s the latter, a bowl game is definitely not in reach. At least it hasn’t been as disappointing as it was last year.
Sep 27, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads walks the sidelines against the Baylor Bears at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
3. Sam Richardson’s pick destroyed any momentum Iowa State had.
The Cyclones weren’t going to stop the Bears much — that was obvious. But they almost had another big momentum boost in the first half. They scored and then stopped Baylor’s offense. Sam Richardson was leading the offense again until the first play of the second quarter, when he threw a pick and lost all the momentum. If Iowa State tied it up at 14-all, it could have been a much different experience.
4. Luke Knott is going to be a great linebacker.
Jake’s brother continues to improve every week, and he joined Jevohn Miller in leading the defense in tackles (he had 15 while Miller had 17). There were shades of Jake in his play last night, and Luke will only improve as the season continues.
5. Some fans still can’t handle losses well.
It’s almost not nearly as painful watching Iowa State lose as it is to see fan reaction. I love Cyclone Nation and recognize most fans that don’t hide behind a fake username on Twitter and message boards get it, but there are some that are just like to point the blame to someone, and they point it to Paul Rhoads. Again, it’s time to stop. Rhoads retooled the coaching staff this year. For those calling for Rhoads to be fired, you are being way too reactionary as you gave the new coaching staff four games.
Give kudos to Baylor. They’re a lot better and Iowa State was overmatched. Firing Rhoads would do nothing to change that. In fact, that would set Iowa State back and probably be even worse for the next couple years.
For those that want a “culture change,” this team has had its best recruiting class by far this year, the attendance continues to ramp up, and the stadium is getting a makeover. These aren’t “excuses,” it’s reasoning, and some fans have none of it. You are entitled to your opinion if you want Rhoads out, and I’m also entitled to tell you how ridiculously stupid that opinion is.