By James Powell
Iowa State’s JaQuan Bailey prepares for the snap in a game versus Louisiana on September 12.
Photo courtesy of Iowa State Athletics
The Cyclones were able to get their first win of the season thanks to some solid play from their defensive line and their run game.
Iowa State looked very slow and sluggish coming out of the gate, with their first two drives not going much of anywhere. Neither team was able to muster much of anything, at least on the scoreboard. The first score didn’t come until Breece Hall ran his way to a 75-yard touchdown run, putting the Cyclones up 7-0 with five minutes gone in the second quarter.
Until that point, the defense withstood a couple of long, lengthy Horned Frog drives to begin the game, and they were anchored by JaQuan Bailey, who became the Iowa State leading sack-getter in school history on Saturday.
Arguably Bailey’s biggest play came when he was able to strip Matthew Downing of the football with about a minute left in the first half. The Cyclones were leading 10-7 and made it a two-possession game with a touchdown from Brock Purdy to Darren Wilson. Connor Assalley ended up missing the extra point, but the deficit was there nonetheless.
If the Cyclones were to name a second most valuable player besides Bailey, it would be sophomore Breece Hall. Along with his huge second-quarter touchdown, he added two more in the second half to help seal the Iowa State win.
Both teams seemed to find their offensive footing in the final 30 minutes, trading touchdowns and neither team playing very aggressive defense. In a two-point game, 30-28 at the time, the defense was, in fact, the difference.
Mike Rose made an impressive diving interception on a TCU pass with under four minutes left. Hall ran it in about a minute later for his third score of the day, and the switch in possession that late in the game ended up being all the Cyclones needed.
Brock Purdy had a couple of nice moments, along with a couple of forgettable plays. Most notably, Prudy was trying to find space and ended up going down, but not before he threw the ball right into the hands of La’Kendrick Van Zandt, who ran into the end zone. That error at the time gave the Horned Frogs life, and while it didn’t end up costing Iowa State the game, it certainly gave TCU a slight glimmer of hope that the Cyclones hoped to avoid.
Iowa State continues its season next Saturday, Oct. 3, when they welcome the Oklahoma Sooners to town.