Cyclones fall to Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Iowa State yielded to a methodical Texas A&M offense Saturday before more than 72,000 Aggie fans, and that was the difference as Texas A&M claimed a 35-10 victory. The Aggies improved to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big 12. Iowa State stands at 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12. The Aggies offense scored on five of its seven drives en route to the victory

Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson completed 23-of-28 passes for 234 yards and three TD throws to lead the Aggies. Texas A&M never punted during the contest.

Texas A&M led 21-3 at halftime. ISU's Zac Sandvig recovered an Aggie fumble off the opening kickoff of the second half that was forced by A.J. Klein. Iowa State then converted on 4th-and-1 at the Texas A&M 15-yard line. But a pass by Cyclone quarterback Jerome Tiller was intercepted at the goal line as the Cyclones came up empty.

Texas A&M was on the verge of another touchdown on the ensuing possession, but Aggie receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu was hit by James Smith at the goal line and Nwachukwu fumbled. ISU's Leonard Johnson recovered the ball in the endzone for a touchback.

Iowa State drove down the field to try and get back into the game. Tiller hit Darius Darks on a 45-yard pass play but Grant Mahoney's 42-yard field goal attempt was wide. Texas A&M came right back down the field with an, 11-play, 76-yard drive ending with a TD pass from Johnson to Howard Morrow that made the score, 28-3 early in the fourth quarter.

The Cyclones scored their only touchdown on the next drive. Tiller rushed four yards for the TD after marching ISU 57 yards on five plays to cut the score, 28-10. Texas A&M scored the final touchdown of the game with 9:44 remaining in the game after going 80 yards on seven plays in 2:31. Christine Michael ran it in for the TD from seven yards out to produce the final score.

Iowa State successfully moved the ball in the first half, garnering 14 first downs to Texas A&M's 13. But it was the Aggies who made the big plays and stops and held a 21-3 lead at intermission. Texas A&M scored on its first three drives of the first half.

Iowa State had to punt after its first drive which included Austen Arnaud stepping in for one play for a shaken up Tiller, who returned for the next play and played the balance of the game. Texas A&M responded by driving 80 yards on 14 plays on its first drive, with Johnson sneaking over for paydirt on 4th-and-goal on the one-inch line. Texas A&M led 7-0 with 4:55 left in the first quarter of a sun-drenched Kyle Field.

Iowa State later drove to midfield, when Tiller's pass over the middle was picked off by Jordan Pugh. A&M took over and three plays later Johnson hit Jeff Fuller with a 32-TD pass that made it 14-0 with one minute left in the first quarter.

Iowa State drove down the field to the Texas A&M 23 before the Big 12's leading rusher, Cyclone running back Alexander Robinson, took a snap out of the Wildcat formation, and was tackled short on a 4th-and-1 play. Texas A&M drove right back down the field, including a conversion on a 4th-and-6 play, with Cyrus Gray taking a swing pass from Johnson for a 7-yard score. The drive went 16 plays for 77 yards and a 21-0 Texas A&M lead.

A 39-yard kickoff return by Josh Lenz then gave ISU one last chance before halftime. Iowa State drove 50 yards in 11 plays with Mahoney hitting a 29-yard field goal with one second before halftime. The Aggies outgained the Cyclones in first-half total yards, 207-188. Robinson played well after missing the Nebraska win with a groin injury. Robinson had rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries in the first two quarters.

Robinson finished the game with 76 yards rushing on 20 carries. Tiller completed 18-of-27 passes for 155 yards. Lenz had kickoff returns of 27 and 39 yards while making seven catches for a career-high 63 yards.

The Cyclones will return to Jack Trice Stadium for the next two contests, beginning with a game against Oklahoma State next Saturday. Game time has not been announced, but it will be televised.

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