It can definitely be said that Iowa State’s game with Oklahoma State Saturday was a tale of two halves.
In fact that can be said for the Cyclones last two football games.
Last week against Baylor, Iowa State suffered a heart breaking loss to the Bears in front of a partisan crowd in Ames.
This week on the road, the Cyclones under new head coach Matt Campbell continues to show mass improvements despite their 1-5 record.
Baylor, who enters this week’s bye week undefeated, was out played by Iowa State for three quarters, Oklahoma State was definitely outplayed by the Cyclones for one half this Saturday in Stillwater.
It’s hard no matter how experience a team you have in the Big 12, to win especially on the road, the Cyclones held a 31-14 lead over the Cowboys before falling to the home team 38-31.
OSU goes to 4-2 on the season, and it took several mistakes and turnovers by Iowa State along with several sacks given up for the Cowboys to find a way to win the game.
That may the most glaring fact about both of Iowa State’s games the last two weeks.
Baylor and Oklahoma State found ways to win the games in the end, while the Cyclones found ways not to.
When rebuilding a program, such as Campbell has been hired to do, teaching your players how to believe they can win in tough situations is one of the biggest road blocks of any rebuilding process.
Since the decisive victory over San Jose State three weeks ago, the Cyclones have gotten better both offensively and defensively despite the fourth quarter collapses that occurred.
To get the team to believe in what you’re teaching is just the first step, step two, three and four has to come with gaining confidence in themselves and when things start to go bad, that old ways of thinking doesn’t evolve into the situation.
Iowa State, if they can find a way to play four full quarters the way they played in three today, don’t be surprised if the Cyclones play a part in the firing Charlie Strong party a week from tomorrow. An Iowa State victory in Austin next Saturday, may be the nail in the Strong coffin.
Campbell was obviously disappointed after the game.
“I think we have the belief that we can play with anyone on our schedule is there,” Campbell said. “We just have to figure out how to be a dagger in them and finish them off. We have to make some plays to finish up the game, and we just didn’t do it.”