In the preview I mentioned the interest-factor went up exponentially after the Rockets sent shock waves through college football by knocking off the then 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks . Well, this one didn’t let us down. It was a crazy back-and-forth double overtime thriller, but when the dust settled Iowa State found themselves looking for answers yet again.
The ‘Clones lost in dramatic fashion for the second straight week falling to Toledo in double OT 23-30 in the Glass Bowl. Iowa State’s bowl hopes took a major blow as they are now looking at a 1-2 record and will most-likely be underdogs the rest of this season with the exception of next game’s match-up against the Kansas Jayhawks.
Toledo would be the first team to get on the board after kicker Jameson Vest punched a 30-yarder through the uprights less than four minutes into the opening quarter. However, Iowa State reciprocated on the following drive with a field goal of their own by Cole Netten.
From then on, both teams relied on their running games and salty defenses only to find themselves dead-locked at 20 points-a-piece with only five seconds remaining in regulation. The Cyclones had a chance to put it away as they set Netten up for a 32-yard field goal attempt. But alas, the ‘Clone kicker yanked it and the ball sailed left. To overtime they went.
The game’s first overtime ended with both teams trading field goals yet again. Toledo would open double OT’s scoring with back up running back Damion Jones-Moore leading the way. Jones-Moore surged into the end zone on a 10-yard sweep play (more on Jones-Moore later). The TD would prove to be fatal for the ‘Clones as QB Sam Richardson was caught from behind on a 4th and goal while desperately scrambling to find a receiver. Richardson and the Cyclone’s hopes to win the game were both dragged down by Rocket defensive end Tre James.
This encompasses this game pretty well…
This game has captured every single emotion there is involved with Iowa State football. It's kind of amazing, actually.
— WRNL (@WideRtNattyLt) September 20, 2015
|3rd Down Eff||15-23||7-15|
|4th Down Eff||01||0-0|
|Yds Per Pass||5.8||4.9|
|Yds Per Rush||4.2||5.0|
Key Point In The Game
In the second overtime, Rockets star running back Kareem Hunt went down with a leg injury. Not that there’s a good time for any injury, but losing your star back in double OT can be devastating, in more ways than one. Damion Jones-Moore stepped in to replace Hunt. Jones-Moore, faced with a critical third down, knifed through the Cyclone defense for 9 yards and a first down to keep the drive alive. He would go on to score the game-winning TD on the fore-mentioned 10 yard sweep.
Positives For Iowa State
Signs Of Life For The Running Game – Coming into this game, State was ranked dead-last among Power 5 schools for rushing yards averaging only 70 yards in their first two match-ups of the season. On the strength of a 126-yard performance by RB Mike Warren, the Cyclones piled up 207 yards on the ground. They’ll have to keep that up to give themselves any shot to claw their way to a bowl game.
The Defense – Iowa State’s D continues to give them opportunities to win. After blocking a punt deep inside Iowa State territory, the Rockets found themselves in prime real estate with a first and goal on the two yard-line. Toledo handed the ball off to their newly reinstated Doak Walker Award candidate, Kareem Hunt, three straight times. ‘Clone defenders fired through the gaps to stuff Hunt on all three occasions. The drive resulted in a chip-shot field goal rather than a touchdown.
Negatives For Iowa State
Penalties – This Iowa State team seemed absolutely determined to frequently take aim at their foot and pull the proverbial trigger on Saturday night. The refs probably had to ice their arms after this one as they chucked their flags 14 times for 113 yards courtesy of Iowa State’s multiple mental errors. This team is simply not talented enough to win games when they are constantly extending their opponent’s drives because of untimely mistakes. This issue needs to be addressed immediately.
Cyclones Player Of The Game
Mike Warren – The freshman brought the non-existent running game back to life for the Cyclones. Warren’s 126 yards were the most by a Cyclone since September 26th, 2013. He’s also the first freshman for Iowa State to rush for the century-mark since October 2nd, 2010.
What The Loss Means For Iowa State
I won’t lie to you, ‘Clone Nation, the rest of the season does not look good. State’s bowl hopes are starting to look a little hazy as they enter Big 12 play in two weeks against KU (the Cyclones are idle next week). Big 12 teams who had question marks before the season started seem to be finding their legs (especially Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech). These are a few teams that some would’ve argued the ‘Clones may have had a shot at winning before the year started. However after Kansas, the next six games on the schedule are: at Tech, vs TCU, at Baylor, vs Texas, at OU and vs OSU. Yikes. While anything can happen, of course, based on what I’m seeing right now I really can’t find a win in that list.