Iowa State Cyclones

Three Thoughts on Iowa State’s 30-9 Win Over Northern Iowa

Saturday was a special day for many reasons. It was the start of the college football season in the state of Iowa, and it was also the 300th game played at Jack Trice Stadium. Despite negativity surrounding the Iowa State football program in the offseason, the Cyclones had a chance to put that in the rear view as they took on Northern Iowa in their home opener. Iowa State took care of business in their first game as they won 30 to 9. Here are my three thoughts on the game.

 

1. The Defense is Still Really Good

We can get to the offense here in a bit, but the first thing that stood out to me on Saturday was Iowa State’s defense. While they did lose some great pieces from a year ago, I didn’t see a drop-off at all in terms of production. The Cyclones gave up just nine points as the Panthers offense found the end zone just one time in four quarters. Iowa State held them to just 3/15 on third down and held them to under three yards per carry on the ground.

Caleb Bacon had a breakout game with two sacks and this defense had a whopping nine tackles for loss on the day. Speaking of having a breakout game, I need to give a shoutout to Jeremiah Cooper who had two interceptions including a pick six in the first quarter.

To give you just an idea of how good this defense was on Saturday, they didn’t allow Northern Iowa to cross the 50-yard line until the third quarter, which is insane.

 

2. Special Teams Could Be a Strength

Everyone knows that Iowa State’s special teams haven’t been very good over the years. That has always been an area of weakness for this program, but I saw some really good things against Northern Iowa. Tyler Perkins averaged over 53 yards per punt and even had a 70-yard punt in the game which was super impressive. Jaylin Noel had a big return early in the game and how about kicker Chase Contreraz? He drilled a 56-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. His kick ended up being the fifth longest field goal in Iowa State history and I thought it would have been good from 60.

 

3. The Offense Still a Work in Progress

Coming into this game, the offense was the main concern. While the defense and special teams stole the show against Northern Iowa, I thought the offense did a nice job. It’s the first game of the season so I wasn’t expecting any miracles but neither Rocco Becht nor JJ Kohl turned the ball over, which was a plus. Becht got the start and was efficient when he threw the ball, going 10/13 for 113 yards and two scores. It was also nice to see the tight ends get involved more because that is a position that really struggled last season. Easton Dean caught three passes and Benjamin Brahmer made a really nice play down the sideline outrunning coverage catching a 36-yard touchdown pass.

The run game could have been a little bit better but it’s hard to complain when you are averaging five yards per carry. While I did think the defense and special teams won this game for Iowa State, overall, it’s hard to nitpick a big win over Northern Iowa. I feel like anytime these two schools meet it is always a nail bitter, so it was great to see Iowa State take care of business in week one.

Most Popular

To Top