Quick Start Falls by the Wayside
Iowa State put the nation's No. 3 team on upset alert for a little more than an hour Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium, but a surging offense eventually went quiet and the Cyclones' defense eventually gave way in a 45-21 loss to TCU.
The Cyclones scored three touchdowns in the game's first 13 minutes, 11 seconds Saturday, but led for just 2 minutes, 49 seconds against the high-powered Horned Frogs' offense, and a costly fumble midway through the second quarter eventually swung momentum. After taking a 21-14 lead with 1:49 remaining in the first, Iowa State never scored again in the game's final 46 minutes, 49 seconds.
"I think there’s a lot of things that you could say it was," coach Paul Rhoads said, referring to what went wrong. "For me to pinpoint it and be accurate without overall studying everything would not be fair. They certainly made good adjustments, they certainly made plays. Third downs is something that’s really discouraging for us right now. That was a big contributing factor for us the last 45 minutes of offense."
Iowa State went 3-of-12 on third down attempt Saturday. After racking up 262 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Cyclones tallied just 199 in the final three quarters while watching TCU score 31 unanswered points in the victory.
The Cyclones could point to two turning points afterward: A fumble on an option toss from quarterback Sam Richardson to running back Mike Warren at the TCU 10 and then a touchdown drive to start the second half that put TCU up 10 quickly in the third quarter.
Ultimately, Iowa State's offense disappeared after the first quarter.
"It’s very frustrating because I personally felt like we could have won this game," receiver Quenton Bundrage said. "We sort of left it slip out of our hands. They’re the No. 3 team in the nation, they’re a great team. We just lost, it’s simple as that."
Lanning Disappears After Two Snaps
With 6:01 remaining in the first quarter, Iowa State used backup quarterback Joel Lanning behind center in one of the packages that has become popular for the unit in recent weeks. The result? A 74-yard catch-and-run (29 yards on the pass) to Allen Lazard for a touchdown.
Lanning carried the ball the play prior, but was never used again following the long strike.
Paul Rhoads was asked what changed in the ensuing three-plus quarters.
"That’ll be part of our Sunday analysis," Rhoads said.
Cyclones Escape Mostly Healthy
Iowa State lost running backs Joshua Thomas and Mike Warren at various points Saturday, but Paul Rhoads said both were fine. Warren would have been ready to re-enter the game had the Cyclones needed him late.
Daniel Burton exited Saturday after tweaking his MCL, the same injury that sidelined him earlier this season. Rhoads said the injury isn't as bad this time and Burton was also ready to re-enter. He'll enter the coming week day-to-day.