Injuries continue to hamper Cyclones
As if the list wasn’t already long enough, another name is likely being added to Iowa State’s season-ending injury total after linebacker Jevohn Miller went down on the second defensive play Saturday.
Miller, who went to the ground after a cut-block, certainly won’t play next week against Kansas after suffering the knee injury. It appears more likely that Miller won’t play again for Iowa State as the injury is expected to be career-ending.
The Cyclones had already lost Ben Loth and Jacob Dunning on the offensive line, Quenton Bundrage, P.J. Harris and Brett Medders at receiver and Levi Peters on special teams for the season and will now add Miller to that list, as well.
In other injury news, Iowa State was without both Brandon Jensen and Robby Garcia on the defensive line Saturday. Jensen was injured against Texas, but didn’t start practicing until Thursday and wasn’t ready to go against Oklahoma. Devlyn Cousin, who wasn’t expected to play, remains out with an elbow injury.
The injury list goes on with Nigel Tribune, Iowa State’s most experienced defensive back. Tribune hurt his groin late in the week and was held out. True freshman Martinez Syria was in street clothes for an unspecified reason.
Passing game out-of-synch in loss
From the onset Saturday, passes floated over the heads of Iowa State targets and often to areas with nobody in the vicinity. When other passes from Sam Richardson were on-target, they often fell to the ground after hitting a receiver’s hands.
Was the passing game just a little off?
“No, it was off a lot. It was off a lot,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “I would bet 20-plus pass plays we either misfired with the ball or were dropped. I would bet 20-plus plays overall, and against a team like that you’re needing every one of them.”
Richardson, who has typically completed more than 60 percent of his passes this season in Iowa State’s highly-efficient offense, was 15-of-40 (37.5 percent) Saturday.
“Pretty much some plays not being completed and just miscommunication out there today,” receiver D’Vario Montgomery offered as reasoning for the performance. “The wind was a factor and the rush and all of the other types of factors that we had towards the offense. Today was probably just not our day for offense.”
Finding the key to knocking off Oklahoma
With Saturday’s lopsided loss, Iowa State’s losing streak against Oklahoma reached 16 games. The Cyclones last defeated the Sooners in 1990.
Rhoads provided some thoughts on what it might take to get over the hump against Oklahoma following the 59-14 loss.
“Oklahoma is always going to have good players. They always have and always will. They’re that tradition rich in what they’ve done in the sport of football,” Rhoads said. “They’re always going to be able to recruit really good football players. I don’t think there’s a wall or a mindset that affects kids in 2014 because they haven’t won since this or since this. You’ve got to continue to get better players in the program, you’ve got to continue to develop, you’ve got to execute well on game day and out-perform them. That will always be a challenge, and when it happens, it will probably always be an upset when it takes place. I’d sure like to be here when we get one.”