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OSU-ISU Rewind: Special Teams Present Concern

Ben Grogan's miss of a 28-yard field goal – his second consecutive miss – has to be a concern as the Cowboys prepare to play Baylor and Oklahoma to close out the regular season.

Special teams is usually the shortest rewind each Sunday, and that is the case from Ames, Iowa on Saturday and the 35-31 win over Iowa State.

The highlight was the punt late by reigning Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week Zach Sinor as he pooched kicked it and saw it land and stop on the Iowa State 5-yard line. On the next play the Cyclones hero of the day in quarterback Joel Lanning threw the pick to OSU safety Jordan Sterns. 

"That was a huge play, the pooch punt, and it was like he pulled out his sand wedge and just plopped it down at the 5," head coach Mike Gundy said. "We work on that play every day and work on it in the spring and there is a reason because when you need it then it's a big play and a big part of winning the game."

Gundy was really impressed with the execution on Sinor's part.

"That wasn't easy now," Gundy started. "They were in a block look and he had to pooch it on a one step. That's like asking a golfer to pull out a driver and hit through  dog leg left when he can't make his driver do that. It's a hard shot. Sinor did a great job on that."

The lowlight or the concern is with kicker Ben Grogan. After starting the season slow, Grogan went on a hot streak as he 10 in a row after starting 1-for-3 on the season. Now he has missed two in a row, one against TCU and a 28-yard miss that he pushed wide left in the south end zone at Jack Trice Stadium. He needs to get it back with Baylor and OU coming to town and every possible point  being so critical.

The special teams across the board were solid with Iowa State averaging just 19.8 yards on kickoff returns, and they had one punt return for 13 yards. The Cowboys never had a punt return and were so-so on their kickoff returns.

There were two interesting plays with OSU having to endure a review after Iowa State was awarded the ball on a punt where the initial ruling was the ball touched the Cowboys Kirk Tucker on the leg. Video showed it did not touch Tucker. 

The other interesting play was a kickoff return in the first half where Iowa State had a player lying down over the Iowa State lettering in the end zone and blending in. The receiver on the kickoff, Trever Ryen, threw a lateral across the field to the player that had been laying down and got up, but Ryen had waited to long and the lateral was an illegal forward pass that was correctly called by the officiating crew.

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