Cyclones squander opportunities, falls to K-State 31-26
By: Eric Meier, October 29, 2016
Ames, IA – Head coach Matt Campbell summarized today’s Homecoming game against Kansas State with a simple quote. “For 60 minutes, they (Kansas State) out-executed us by a hair.” That was the narrative for the day as Iowa State fell short against Kansas State 31-26.
The biggest sequence of plays occurred early in the 4th quarter when Iowa State got the ball 1st and Goal on the 1-yard line. After Joel Lanning was stuffed twice and David Montgomery once, Jacob Park overthrew a wide open Montgomery on 4th down. While the Cyclones did record a safety on the next play, they would much rather trade that for a touchdown.
Kansas State was able to have their way with the Cyclone defense on the ground, rushing for a team total 247 yards, including 145 yards from Iowa native Jesse Ertz. The Wildcats were also 8 for 12 on 3rd downs for the game, many of those were 3rd and 7+ yards. Iowa State did win the battle in the air, with Jacob Park going 19-35 for 301 yards along with 2 touchdowns and one interception. Allen Lazard lead all receivers for the game with 8 catches for 134 yards. As good as both those players did for the Cyclones, it was a lack of execution in certain spots that lead to the 5-point loss.
After the game, the message from Coach Campbell and his players was the same. “There were just a couple little things that ended up being major as you look at the games,” Campbell said when addressing the mistakes made during the game. Included in those mistakes was the slow start when Iowa State was down 17-3 at one point. Campbell said that “Tuesday-Thursday practices weren’t good enough.”
This is a tough loss to take. Not just because it is a rivalry game. Not because it’s Homecoming. It’s not even completely due to it being a single digit loss. It is because we have seen this before, many, many times. We have seen the Cyclones be in these close games and not execute well enough to win. As painful as it is to watch the Cyclones lose another close game, we, as fans, should take two approaches. The first approach is one that Captain Kamari Cotton-Moya is taking. “This is a step forward in the process,” Cotton-Moya said after the game. Knowing that the team is inches from winning these types of games is encouraging.
The second approach is the one that Jacob Park is taking. In regards to this game, we need to put it behind us, “when I walk out that door.” That is exactly what Cyclone Nation should do. Once today is over, get hyped for the Oklahoma game on Thursday night.
It may sting now, but rest assured Cyclone Nation, this will get better.