Iowa State football: Report card for the 2014 season

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Nov 29, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Skyler Howard (3) is tripped up by Iowa State Cyclones defensive end Cory Morrissey (58) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive line: F

I love Cory Morrissey as much as the next guy, and I know he’d have my head on a platter if he reads this grade. It’s not a personal attack on any of these guys. They tried their best, but nearly every quarterback they faced looked like a Heisman contender, and the opposing running back always got a crap ton of yards.

Yes, the youth showed greatly on the unit, but at no point should a defense give up multiple 100-yard games on the ground in the same game. Outside of the first half of the season when the team showed some pressure against Kansas State, Iowa, and Oklahoma State, there was nothing left in the tank in the second half of the season. The weakest part of the team going into the season resulted in the worst overall unit — and they can thank both David Irving and Rodney Coe for that.

Next: Linebackers