By Ian Smith, CycloneFanatic.com Contributor
Follow Ian on Twitter @IanWsmith3
The magic is missing.
Three ineffective games followed by three ineffective series was all it took. Steele Jantz out – Jared Barnett in.
Jantz – the Iowa State starting quarterback – was pulled in the first quarter in favor of the redshirt freshman Barnett. It seems like a long time ago when Jantz was busy completing three heroic comebacks to lead the Cyclones to a 3-0 start.
And it some ways, it was. After losing to Texas A&.M 33-17 on Saturday afternoon, Iowa State dropped to 0-4 in the Big 12 and 3-4 overall.
The afternoon couldn’t have started any worse for Jantz. On the first play of the game, the junior college transfer threw high to Josh Lenz and watched the ball get tipped right into Texas A&M’s Trent Hunter’s arms.
Two series and three incomplete passes later and Jantz’s day was done. Barnett relieved Jantz and completed 16-of-36 passes for 180 yards.
“I think (Jantz) is OK,” Barnett said. “He knew he wasn’t performing very well. He told me that I did a good job and that I need to keep working, which he’s right. He was very supportive.”
Was Barnett surprised to be in the game so early? Not exactly.
“I was ready to go in,” Barnett said. “Steele went in there and he wasn’t having a very good day. Coach Rhoads pulled the trigger on me and expected me to go out there and make the plays.”
Lenz’s big day
Josh Lenz is hardly an imposing figure in street clothes. In football pads though, he’s a nightmare.
On a day when most of the Iowa State receivers struggled, Lenz notched career highs in catches (8) and yards (117).
“He showed up and caught lot of balls in the middle of the field,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “He’s had a very steady and solid junior season so far. It’s get to the point that it’s what you expect.”
Running on fumes
Iowa State ran for 125 yards on Saturday against Texas A&M. Take out Jared Barnett’s 66 yards and that number shrinks to 59 yards.
Part of the reason for the lack of production is a season-ending injury to Shontrelle Johnson. The running game clearly misses him.
James White rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Solid numbers, but without a compliment in the backfield, the Cyclones couldn’t muster much else on the ground besides Barnett’s scrambles.
– Texas A&M is now 10-1 all-time against Iowa State. The Cyclones only victory came in 2005 in College Station (42-14).
– Aggies kicker Randy Bullock went over 300 career points with four field goals and three extra points.
– Saturday’s attendance was 51,131. It’s the fourth home crowd of more than 50,000 this season.
– Duran Hollis rushed for his first career touchdown in the third quarter.
– Zach Guyer hit a career long 43-yard field goal for the Cyclones.