Football

It’s not that the Cyclones lost, it’s how they lost

Getting blown out by No. 16 Oklahoma is one thing. Getting blown out by Kansas is another.

Watching the Jayhawks do their best Florida State-impression for 30 minutes in a 34-14 victory over Iowa State is unacceptable.

A one-sided loss to the Big 12’s worst team over the last five years is the low point of the Paul Rhoads era. It’s also the hardest loss for Cyclone Nation to stomach.

“This was a bad loss,” Rhoads said. “That is not a knock on KU. That is not about the opponent. That is about the worst half of football we played in my six years here at Iowa State took place in the first 30 minutes of the game. I am ashamed of that.”

ISU never found a way to stop Kansas. The Jayhawks, who average less than 100 rushing yards in Big 12 games, gained 228 yards on the ground. They gained 235 rushing yards the last three weeks.

It wasn’t much better on offense. ISU had -3 yards on its first three drives. It took four series for a first down. The Cyclones had -2 rushing yards at the half.

The last time Kansas was this dominant ISU offensive coordinator Mark Mangino was standing on the other sideline in Memorial Stadium.

The Kansas team that looked like a bowl squad, especially on offense, had won 11 games since 2010 entering Saturday. Only two of those were Big 12 victories.

This is the team that beat ISU and whose fans tore down a goal post in celebration.

“I don’t know feeling much worse than this,” quarterback Grant Rohach said.

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