Upon Further Review

Some of you may have taped this game and already broke down the film but for those of you who haven't here are some of my thoughts after watching the tape a few times. This installment is my observations from the first quarter of Friday night's game against Army.

While watching the game live I felt like Army's offensive line was getting away with murder and watching the film verified that.  On the first play of the game there should have been a hands to the face penalty on the lineman working on Curvey.  Then on the second play Curvey was blatantly held.  The next play was a perfectly executed screen pass by Army but in my opinion there should have been a late hit penalty against one of Army's offensive lineman.


The second series of the game began with Steve Paris making a beautiful one-handed interception.  At least Zac Dahman was smart enough to not try to tackle Paris and get a concussion.


The first series of the game for the Iowa State offense started off with the offensive line allowing Army to get pressure on Bret Meyer, which resulted in an incompletion.  On the next play the Army defender used an effective hands to the face move to get around Pence, which was finished off with a good example of gang tackling by Army.  On the punt Army had a beautiful block on Baum.


Army's second series began with Corey Anderson beating DeAndre Jackson deep but the pass was overthrown.  Army's offensive line did a nice job of blocking on that play in addition to the second play, which Jason Berryman hustled to chase down the running back for a minimal gain.  Army turned the ball over on the following play after another great interception by Paris.


Iowa State's second series started off much better with the offensive line opening up a huge hole for Stevie Hicks to run through.  Scott Stephenson and Kory Pence created the hole and then Blythe came in for a good block to allow Stevie to get a few more yards.  The next play didn't go so well with Army bringing defenders from both ends and we just didn't have enough guys to block them all.  Hicks was stopped for a loss.  The offensive line recovered with a nice job blocking while Meyer threw a completion to Davis and then the line followed up with opening up a huge hole for Kock to convert on fourth down.


Pence and Egbers did a nice job of blocking on the next play, which resulted in a 4-yard gain for Hicks but if Barkema had stayed on the end, rather than releasing downfield to block there would have been a huge hole.  The offense then ran a well-executed bootleg where the offensive line blocked well, Meyer threw on the run well and Barkema made a nice catch for a first down.


Once again Army brought a defender around the end on the next play.  If Hicks could have gotten the handoff and hit the hole that was there a little sooner he could have ran for a decent gain.  Meyer then missed two wide-open targets in Greg Coleman and Austin Flynn because he was looking into the corner of the end zone while trying to avoid pressure from Army.  The drive ended on a good pass and a phenomenal catch by Flynn in the end zone.  The offensive line did a nice job of blocking on that play.  I was relieved to see Bret Culbertson back on the field converting on the extra point.


The start of Army's next possession was symbolic of the entire evening for Iowa State.  Brent Curvey had good penetration but he was blocked at the last second which also took Berryman out of the play otherwise he probably would have made the tackle.  Leaders was double teamed on this play just like he was most of the night.  Leaders was double teamed on the next play again while Berryman got pressure on the quarterback but Dahman did a great job of getting the pass off quickly for a first down.


It was at this point of the game that I began to notice that Army was having success throwing the ball which in my opinion had a lot to do with the fact that our cornerback were giving Army's wide receivers a 10 yard cushion to begin most plays.


Adam Carper did a good job of getting into the backfield on first down forcing the running back to cut inside where Dobbins came up to make the tackle for little to no gain.  On the next play LaMarcus Hicks did a nice job of forcing the reverse inside but when he couldn't make the tackle, Army had the play blocked well downfield resulting in a first down.


Once again the Army offensive line blocked well while Dahman took advantage of Iowa State's soft coverage completing another pass for a first down.


After Hicks came up to make a nice stop on Wesley, Army ran a perfectly timed screen pass for a touchdown.  Army put on a clinic on how to block downfield on that play.


Iowa State's last drive of the half began with the offensive line doing a nice job of blocking allowing Hicks to gain 5 yards.  On the next play the offensive line again provided a hole for Hicks to pick up the first down.  The bad news though was Hicks left the field with an injury. 


Iowa State went to the air on the following play with Blythe and Davis doing a great job of blocking allowing Flynn to run for a first down.


Greg Coleman came in to replace Hicks by hitting the hole hard and gaining 12 yards only to be called back on a hold by Pence.  The final play of the first quarter resulted in our offensive line blocking well but Army's secondary had good coverage forcing Meyer to run outside for a minimal gain.


I thought the story of the first quarter was the fact that we didn't match Army's intensity right out of the chute.  It also became very obvious to me that Army was taking advantage of the fact that our cornerbacks were giving a huge cushion to their wide receivers.  I was also disappointed that our offensive line wasn't able to just dominate Army's much smaller defensive line.


The bottom line is we didn't take the crowd out of the game in the first quarter and that made it much easier for Army to keep their heads in the game and retain their intensity the whole game.

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