Up to this point, the Cyclones had struggled to win the turnover margin. In each of the games they lost, they lost the turnover margin 0-2. Definitely, a stat line to point to in those games, considering they lost those games by 1 and 2 points, respectively. Today, Iowa State won the turnover margin 2-0. Picking up two fumbles that the Horned Frogs put on the ground.
The Cyclones looked good today. Not just, the kind of good where TCU was making mistakes, but really good. The kind of good where you could sense that Iowa State was forcing those mistakes. TCU had a couple drives that got started with big plays that the Cyclones couldn’t quite slow down enough to keep them out of the end zone, but by that point, Iowa State already had a pretty comfortable lead.
Brock Purdy was on fire. He went 19 for 24 and had a nice 10.4 yards per attempt. I’m not a huge fan of this next stat line. However, you sometimes just have to keep the ball in your best player’s hands. Purdy led the team in rushing for the third consecutive week. He added another 102 yards of offense on the ground and two touchdowns; giving him four touchdowns on the day.
Quarterback Max Duggan got the start for TCU once again, after showing major improvement last week. And perhaps the bright spot in this game for the Horned Frogs is Duggan. He completed 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 219 yards and two touchdowns, and the offense was simply more productive with him under center. Season starter Alex Delton completed four of his five passed, but only netted a whole two yards for his efforts.
The Horned Frog’s struggle came on the ground. This is a team that wants to be run first, but Iowa State dared them to beat them through the air. The Cyclones shut down Darius Anderson. He was the Frog’s leading rusher with just 49 yards on 11 carries. In all, TCU averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.
Iowa State was also able to win the penalty game. The Cyclones were only penalized 5 times for a total of 35 yards. That’s a lot better than the 9 penalties that TCU had for 88 yards. However, the biggest stat to point to as helping to decide the game is Iowa State’s third down defense. The Cyclones had struggled in that aspect coming into the game, but they were able to hold the Horned Frogs to 6 for 15 on 3rd down. Being able to get off the field is huge for the style of defense that Iowa State runs. Its predicated on bending, but not breaking, and waiting for the other team to make mistakes.
All-in-all, the Cyclones looked a lot more like the team we expected them to be before the season, rather than the team they had looked like up to this point. They were able to win the details and take care of the ball while also capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes. The defense was even able to score some points with an Eyioma Uwazurike fumble recovery. Iowa State silenced some of their doubters and came out with a big win against a good TCU team. Welcome to Brocktober. The Big 12 is about to get crazy.