Cyclones ice cold in the red zone

By Anthony Hanson, KURE 88.5 Sports Reporter

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell speaks with reporters recapping his team’s 14-10 loss to Texas Tech. (Anthony Hanson / KURE 88.5)

AMES—Iowa State’s Dimitri Stanley was wide open in the end-zone with 6:46 to go in the second quarter.

He hauled in the pass from Hunter Dekkers and looked to have the first Iowa State touchdown of the game.

There’s a flag on the play.

A holding call wiped the Stanley touchdown off the board, ending the Iowa State trip to the red zone in disappointing fashion.

Stagnant offense and unforced errors once again held back Iowa State’s search for a Big 12 win against Texas Tech on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium. The Red Raiders completed the win over Iowa State by a final score of 14-10.

Iowa State moved to 4-7 on the season with the home loss.

The Cyclones came away with three points after the penalty, but the drive became the first of several to end poorly deep in Texas Tech territory. The Iowa State offense earned zero points on its four other red zone trips.

Once again, Iowa State’s defense provided stops and field position and kept the Cyclones within one score. But the offense could not take advantage.

“It’s frustrating,” Iowa State tight end Easton Dean said. “But it’s a team game, and there’s no one to be mad at beside the whole offense as a system.

Dean scored his second career touchdown and the only Iowa State touchdown of the game Saturday night.

In the third quarter, Iowa State again found Stanley open. This time on a 37-yard throw and catch to put Iowa State in the red zone for the fourth time. Iowa State pushed its way to the Texas Tech two-yard-line thanks to three carriers by running back Eli Sanders.

Turnover on downs.

Iowa State failed to convert in the moment when Sanders was stopped in the backfield, and Texas Tech took over on downs.

Iowa State’s next trip to the red zone suffered the same result. Iowa State opted to pass on fourth down and two, but the Red Raiders took over after Dekkers was sacked.  

Head coach Matt Campbell’s team scored its only touchdown from outside the red zone when Dean finished a 24-yard catch and run by hurdling a Texas Tech tackler and falling into the endzone.

Dean gave Iowa State the lead but only briefly.

Texas Tech responded on the next drive with its second touchdown of the evening. Quarterback Tyler Shough’s pass to Baylor Cupp gave the Red Raiders the go-ahead touchdown.

“I don’t know exactly what is going on,” Campbell said postgame about both fourth down plays in the red zone. “I thought they were good play calls, it was more of a lack of execution and why that happened, I don’t know.”

Last week against Oklahoma State, the Cyclones suffered four giveaways to the Cowboys. This time out, Iowa State cleaned up its ball security. The Cyclones ended the matchup with no turnovers.

Iowa State’s 422 yards of total offense was the most for the Cyclones since week three against Ohio. But its 10 points were the least since week six against Kansas State.

“I think we just need to keep working on the little things,” Dean said. “In the moment, we don’t always make the play.”

Iowa State’s seniors will have one more opportunity to record a Big 12 win. The Cyclones travel to No. 4 TCU for the final matchup of the season next week.

Defensive end Will McDonald will search for the Big 12 sack record in the contest. McDonald tied the conference record Saturday night. with his sack-fumble in the second quarter.

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