While the Red River Showdown stole the headlines in the Big 12, there were plenty of other big-time matchups in the conference. We are just two weeks into conference play and the Big 12 title race is still wide open. In Ames, Iowa the Cyclones were set to host the TCU Horned Frogs. Both teams came into Saturday coming off disappointing losses a week ago.
Iowa State got blown out in Norman last weekend while TCU was upset by West Virginia at home. While both teams are in desperate need of a bounce back win, only one could come out of Saturday night victorious. In the end, the Cyclones took care of business, winning 27-14. Here are my three thoughts on the game.
Iowa State’s Run Game Was Working
It’s no secret that Iowa State has struggled to run the football this season. Just a year ago they had the worst rushing offense in the Big 12 by a large margin and those woes continued earlier this year. Last weekend against Oklahoma, the Cyclones ran for 150 yards and on Saturday against TCU they rushed for 215 yards. Eli Sanders led the way for them as he ran for 99 yards and a score. Even when things weren’t going their way early in the game, Iowa State stuck with it and eventually things started to click. I mean just look at this hole Abu Sama ran through.
I must give credit to the offensive line for getting in a rhythm and they wore down the TCU front as the game went on. This is exactly what the Iowa State offense has been missing over the last two seasons. When you can run the ball like this, it makes life so much easier for a young quarterback like Rocco Becht. I just wonder if this offense will be able to run the football on a more consistent basis.
TCU’s Mistakes Continue
Last week against West Virginia, I said that TCU made too many mistakes to win that game. They rushed a field goal that ended up getting blocked and they mismanaged the clock badly at the end of that game. On Saturday night in Ames, the Horned Frogs didn’t do themselves any favors. Chandler Morris threw two interceptions in his first two drives to start the game. What really hurt was the fact that the offense was moving the ball with ease but couldn’t finish the drives due to the turnovers.
While those turnovers were bad, the special teams for TCU were even worse. Backed up in their own territory, TCU had a punt blocked to give Iowa State great field position with just seconds left in the first half. Luckily for them, it only cost them three points, but it was still a bad mistake. Then later in the game, TCU had another bad punt as Jordy Sandy had a 26-yard punt from the TCU 12-yard line. Between the turnovers, drops, and special teams mistakes, it was just too much to come back from. Plus, Chandler Morris got hurt in the second half. After Morris went down, Josh Hoover came in, but he wasn’t able to get the offense going.
The Jack Trice Tribute Was Awesome
This weekend marks the 100-year anniversary of Jack Trice’s Death. For those who don’t know, Jack Trice was the first African American athlete for Iowa State. In just his second game against Minnesota, Jack suffered some major injuries and ended up passing away just two days after the game. The night before the game, Jack wrote “The honor of my race, family, and self are at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will!”
The stadium is named after Jack Trice, and it was awesome to see Iowa State wear these uniforms in his honor.
Even the midfield logo was painted to honor him as well.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Iowa State do this once a year because it is a really cool thing.