Just when you thought Iowa State football might be turning the corner, they have another terrible performance in a noncompetitive game against Oklahoma.
The Sooners set a record performance on offense by reeling in an unbelievable 751 yards, the most in one game under Bob Stoops. That included 510 total yards on the ground. Oklahoma averaged 8.6 yards a carry on 59 rush attempts.
Trevor Knight, Alex Ross, and Samaje Perine all ran for 110-plus yards. Knight actually led the way with 146 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 22-of-35 passes for 230 yards, three touchdowns, and had two picks thanks to Sam Richardson.
Nov 1, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson (12) breaks the huddle against the Oklahoma Sooners at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
In comparison, quarterback Sam B. Richardson was not good. He completed just 15-of-40 passes for 239 yards and had a touchdown. While he avoided a pick, he was largely inefficient again. He hasn’t thrown this bad since the Oklahoma State game.
From the get go, Iowa State couldn’t execute their up-tempo offense. Because of that, the defense saw the field a lot. Allen Lazard had a couple of big catches, but the end result was Oklahoma getting a quick 21-0 lead and over 240 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Never straying away from the game plan, there was only one drive in the first half that worked for Iowa State. Richardson finally got out of the pocket when Oklahoma dialed up the blitz, extending time and hitting his receivers. As the second quarter began, the Cyclones scored a touchdown on a Richardson 18-yard run. Following that, there were two instances where Iowa State had the ball at midfield.
The first came on a defensive stand when Oklahoma went for it on 4th and 1 and couldn’t pick it up. Iowa State didn’t go for the jugular, instead running on two conservative plays. Running the ball is not the Cyclones’ specialty.
What is their specialty is plays like the one that happened during the second time they were at midfield. After a huge Aaron Wimberly kick after Oklahoma made it 28-7, Iowa State’s offense was stalled again. They had a punt fake with Holden Kramer, who passed it to Qujuan Floyd who was completely wide open. Floyd whiffed on the catch and dropped a ball that couldn’t have been delivered better to him.
After that, Oklahoma scored again to make it 35-7 and essentially ended the game before half. Fans exited the cold stadium early and few returned. Iowa State had little glimpses here and there in the third quarter, even stopping the Sooners on defense for once, but then Richardson was sacked and fumbled the ball. Oklahoma recovered at the ISU 15, and another score ensued.
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The game was hot garbage from beginning to end. A bitter disappointment that was as cold as the temperature was. The offense did nothing and left the defense hanging. They didn’t have a good game, and it truly sucks when Nigel Tribune isn’t out there and Jevohn Miller, the team’s best tackler, was lost because of a knee injury. But the offense didn’t do them any favors. When the up-tempo offense stalls, it’s absolutely brutal on the defense.
Questions will rise about Paul Rhoads and his job security once again. After two weeks of seeing a team that finally looked like it had life, they were humiliated in, without question, their worst performance of the season from beginning to end. At no point did Iowa State show that they could actually win this game.
Iowa State falls to 2-6 on the season and are still winless in the Big 12 with an 0-5 record. The Cyclones will need to win out to get to a bowl game, but that goal is unreachable at this point with two conference title contenders — TCU and West Virginia — left on the slate.