Iowa State lost a grueling game Saturday by a score of 18-17, in perhaps their most important game of the year — the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk game.
Lack of detail spells disaster
Iowa State totaled significantly more offense than the Hawkeyes on Saturday and controlled the tempo more often, but they lost thanks to several key mishaps.
“That’s my job. That’s my responsibility,” said coach Matt Campbell. “Obviously I didn’t do a good enough job to make sure that those things were shored up.”
On the last play of the game, cornerback Datrone Young accidentally ran into punt returner Deshaunte Jones, causing a muff and sealing the game for the Hawkeyes.
To even get to this situation, the Hawkeyes could thank several other mistakes from their opponent.
On a kickoff in the fourth quarter, running back Johnnie Lang opted to bring the ball out and attempt to return it. He was stopped at the 16-yard-line, which would’ve already solidified this as a bad decision, but then a penalty pushed them back 10 more yards. Only holding onto a five-point lead at the time, they had to punt from within their end zone.
The punt from Joe Rivera was not good. Not only was it short, but it had little to no hang time, which made it returnable.
Iowa started their drive within the Cyclone 30 and scored their only touchdown of the game.
Later in the game, on the last offensive drive of the game for the Cyclones, they were faced with a fourth and 13 around the Hawkeyes’ 40-yard-line.
Opting not to kick, Iowa State tried to convert. On a comeback route, Jones was hit early and a flag came out.
But the penalty didn’t give them a first down because right tackle Bryce Meeker was hit with a holding call resulting in offsetting penalties.
The Cyclones missed the conversion and never got the ball back.
Trickery keeps them in it
Iowa State led the first half by a score of 7-6, but those seven points needed the help of some trickery.
After the first weather delay, Iowa State had the ball and from their own 49-yard-line, they reached into their bag of tricks. Quarterback Brock Purdy took the snap and threw it to Jones on his right side. Jones caught it and threw it.
Jones was able to do this because Purdy threw a backward pass. Iowa State made it look like a screen — a play they have no problem running — and Iowa defenders completely disregarded receiver La’Michael Pettway, who caught the deep pass from Jones and carried it to the end zone for a 51-yard score.
Jones was a quarterback in high school, which likely influenced the decision to use him as the thrower.
“Deshaunte, he can do so many things for us offensively,” Campbell said. “You want your seniors to play their best by the time they get to their senior year — well, he’s living proof of that right now.”
The Cyclones tried it again in the game, but the Hawkeyes snuffed it out that time.
Weather delays have no effect
Saturday’s game was hit with two weather delays which caused a record amount of delay time at two hours and 55 minutes.
The game picked up after each delay early in the game. The first happened in the first quarter and the second came right at the beginning of the second.
Despite this, Iowa State looked strong out of each one and Campbell thinks that they have nothing to do with the mistakes.
“Unfortunately, I’d love to blame something else, but it’s really not, it’s us,” Campbell said.
Iowa State will get another home game next weekend against Louisiana-Monroe. They’ll look to put the Cy-Hawk game behind them.