Iowa State does the unthinkable and actually goes back and forth in an incredible shootout in Austin against Texas. However, a disappointing end for the Cyclones is both unbelievable and unsurprising all at the same time.
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Sam Richardson and the Iowa State offense came back and answered on every Texas blow that was dealt. The Cyclones.tv technical difficulties wasn’t the only disaster that was happening early in the game. Iowa State apparently didn’t get off the bus and Texas quickly marched out to a 14-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the game.
On the third drive, the Cyclones finally got it together offensively. A couple throws to D’Vario Montgomery set up some successful running by Aaron Wimberly. Eventually, Richardson found E.J. Bibbs. Little did we know that the offense was just getting started.
It wasn’t just the offense. In complete contrast to how the second quarter started against Baylor, Iowa State opened up with a fumble recovery by Jevohn Miller after a John Harris completion. Miller ran it all the way back for a touchdown to tie the game at 14. It was a 28-all tie at halftime, then the scoring subsided — especially for Iowa State.
The Cyclones had three lone points in the second half until Iowa State responded with back-to-back game-tying touchdowns in the final 5:24 of the fourth quarter. Finally, the clutch gene that was missing from Iowa State was found.
Oct 18, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Aaron Wimberly (2) carries the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the second half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Hell, after Texas scored a touchdown to make it 45-38 with 1:19 to go in the game, we’ve seen many a Cyclone squad fall apart and not be able to get even close to the endzone. Iowa State instead did their best imitation of the Baylor offense, jacked up the speed, and scored a TD answer in 51 seconds.
However, that score was apparently too soon. Instead of settling for overtime, Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes found Jaxon Shipley on broken coverage and just like that, they were in field goal range. One more play, one more blitz by Iowa State, and again, Texas got a huge passing play to set themselves up with a chip shot field goal. With seven seconds left, they kick the 21-yarder to ice the game.
Sam Richardson and the Iowa State offense ran out of time to answer.
A losing culture and not being able to close out these games continues for Iowa State. The surprise was being able to offensively keep up with Texas. Sam Richardson threw for 345 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 picks. Coming into the game, Texas gave up about 133 yards in the air PER game.
The Cyclones also had their first rusher over 100 yards since the last time they played the Longhorns. Aaron Wimberly finished with 110 yards and a TD on 14 carries. In total, Iowa State had 524 yards of total offense. Incredible.
Oct 18, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) reacts against the Iowa State Cyclones during the second half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Longhorns won 48-45. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
That offensive explosion wasn’t expected. Anybody that tells you that there was even a possibility of 93 points total in Austin was a liar. But the disappointment at the end isn’t surprising. That’s been the culture of Iowa State football. They were able to pull out a close win against Iowa this year, and against West Virginia in triple overtime in last season’s finale, and again against Oklahoma State when they were second in the nation years ago, but it just hasn’t happened consistently.
In the last two years, Iowa State has lost a game by eight points or less to: UNI, Iowa, Texas (x2), Texas Tech, TCU, and Kansas State. That’s seven games that could have swung in the Cyclones’ favor. Instead of 5-14 in the last two seasons, Iowa State could be 12-7. That’s how close it is for ball club to be a consistent competitor — they would have gone to a bowl game last year and would be two wins away from a bowl this year.
Thankfully, it’s clear as day that Iowa State is going to be competing a lot more than last season down the stretch thanks to the offense figuring things out. But now they have to take that next step. To finally win close games consistently.
Can they finally do it? That will be focus in the last five games of the year, because the long odds of a bowl berth are simply too large to overcome at this point.
- The big three receivers for Iowa State dominated. D’Vario Montgomery led the way in yards with 9 catches for an even 100 yards. Allen Lazard had 8 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. E.J. Bibbs led the team with 10 catches for 73 yards and had two scores.
- Tyrone Swoopes was effective for Texas, completing 24-of-36 passes for 321 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also led the team in running with 95 yards and a score on 14 carries.
- Iowa State held both Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray under 100 yards combined again (96 yards). Both Brown and Gray did combine for 3 touchdowns.