By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Kansas State 27, Iowa State20— FINAL BOX SCORE
I just got done hosting Cyclone Reaction on the Cyclone Radio Network with my good pal Jack Whitver. For the most part, the callers were pretty predictable, much like some of the threads that I have been reading here at CycloneFanatic.com.
A lot of fingers are being pointed at Austen Arnaud, which is normal. The quarterback generally gets too much credit when things are going well and too much of the blame when things aren’t so hot. Some criticism is being tossed in the direction of offensive coordinator Tom Herman. Some folks are even really on the edge of the cliff and calling CPR’s head. That my friends is simply ridiculous. Two months ago he was the best coach in America. Now, some of you are questioning if he’s the guy for Iowa State? Give me a break. Things are never as good as they seem. They also are never as bad. After last season’s Kansas State game, a meltdown of epic proportions went down within this fan base. The same is happening today. How did last season end? In Tempe on New Years Eve with a bowl championship. After today, the road just got a lot tougher for that to happen again in 2010. But this team has three home games in a row coming up. Here is a rundown of what happened today in Kansas City.
A.J. Klein – The sophomore linebacker led Iowa State in tackles again today with 10. He then tacked on one tackle for a loss and yes, that interception with a 69-yard return for a touchdown.
Jeff Woody – Iowa State’s former walk on running back ran the ball six times for 43 yards against the Wildcats. That was good for an average of 7.2 yards per carry. Woody is a great change of pace to a shifty Alexander Robinson and he’s very effective in that role. I anticipate we’ll see more of him in the coming weeks.
Grant Mahoney – Nobody felt worse about last season’s 24-23 loss to Kansas State than kicker Grant Mahoney. This young man blocked out the demons of Arrowhead Stadium to go perfect on the day with field goals from 43 and 34 yards.
No more Arrowhead Stadium – From the sounds of things, I don’t think that Iowa State and Kansas State will play in Kansas City again next season. Thank God. Thank old man Bill Snyder too, who has been very passionate about his dislike for the idea. In two games at the home of the Chiefs, Iowa State has more a less handed Kansas State victories. Financially, this makes all the sense in the world for Iowa State. Competitively, I’d much rather see the men in purple in Ames next season.
Rush offense – Despite the loss, Alexander Robinson looked a lot better in week three than he did the two games prior. The senior ran for 82 yards on 19 carries to average 4.5 per carry. Woody chipped in for 43 yards while Austen Arnaud ran for 50. That totals 185 on the day for the Cyclones, who netted 171. For the most part, run blocking looked decent by Iowa State’s offensive line. Pass protection was another story.
Kicking game – Grant Mahoney was perfect on the day. Kirby Van Der Kamp averaged 51 yards in his three punts. I’d say he’s locked up that job for the rest of the season barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Penalties – The Cyclones committed eight penalties totally 65 yards in the loss to Kansas State. To make things worse, it just seemed like those mistakes came at the absolute worst times possible too. With an offense that is struggling as mightily as Iowa State’s is, putting yourself in a 1st and 20 hole is just begging for a disaster to come your way.
Pass offense – Something isn’t right here and I don’t think the solution is as easy as pointing a finger at the quarterback. That man, Austen Arnaud was 15-of-27 for 122 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t throw an interception on Saturday, which was a positive. Still, something isn’t adding up here. Arnaud connected with five different receivers in the game. The longest pass play that Iowa State connected on went for 23 yards, to Darius Reynolds.
Rush defense – Kansas State ran wild on the Cyclone front seven on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats netted 262 yards on the day. Daniel Thomas, who some claim as the nation’s top running back, rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the game. Kansas State quarterback Carson Coffman ran for 48 yards of his own. As a team, the Wildcats averaged 5.2 yards per carry. Iowa State was ranked as the nation’s 104th best rush defense in America heading into Saturday. I don’t expect that number to improve much after week three games are completed.