News and notes from Jack Trice Stadium

By Ian Smith, Contributor
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AMES – Give Wally Burnham two weeks and he could figure out how to stop anybody.

Just ask Oklahoma State and it second-ranked scoring offense. The defensive coordinator wreaked havoc on the Cowboys in the Cyclones’ 37-31 victory in double overtime.

“Wally and his staff had a great plan,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “They are great teachers.”

Oklahoma State entered Friday’s game averaging 51.7 points per contest. When it was over, the Cowboys were asking questions about what the heck happened after scoring 17 offensive points in regulation.

Burnham dialed up timely blitzes and completely shut down Oklahoma State’s running game. The Cowboys rushed for just 60 yards on 18 carries.

Yes, Brandon Weeden threw for 476 yards, but he never found a groove. Oklahoma State entered the game No. 1 in the country in turnover margin. It left Ames with five more turnovers and its national title hopes dashed. Credit the ball hawking Cyclones defense.

“They needed to do some things poorly,” Rhoads said. “They needed to suffer some adversity and they did.”

In the game’s biggest moments, Iowa State made plays. In the second overtime, linebacker Jake Knott tipped Brandon Weeden’s pass where it landed in the waiting arms of Ter’Ran Benton. The pick essentially seal the Cyclones’ victory.

In the biggest win in Iowa State history, Burnham’s impact shouldn’t be forgotten.

Missed opportunities

Iowa State knocked off the No. 2 team in the country and amazingly, the Cyclones didn’t even come close to playing their best game. Missed opportunities nearly cost Iowa State a chance at the upset.

Twice in the first quarter the Cyclones forced turnovers only to come up with no points. Not only that, Iowa State handed the Cowboys seven points when Jared Barnett was picked off by Shaun Lewis who took it 70 yards to the house.

In the third quarter, Barnett fumbled at the Oklahoma State 4-yard line after running for 19 yards.

And yet, the Cyclones found a way to win.

Weeden’s big day

There’s little doubt Brandon Weeden is an NFL caliber quarterback. The 28-year old can put the ball in places most players can’t.

On Friday night, Weeden proved he can make all the big throws. A number of times on third and long situations he hit receivers in tight windows to pick up the first down.

Weeden finished the game with 476 yards passing and completely 72 percent of his throws.

“He threw some balls that were fantastically thrown balls,” Rhoads said. “You don’t see a quarterback like that very often.”

For all his talents, Iowa State exposed Weeden’s biggest flaw. Under pressure, he will make mistakes. The Cyclones used timely blitzes to force Weeden into throwing three interceptions.


Safety Jacques Washington on the celebration in the locker room

“You know Coach Rhoads. There were tears.”

Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly on Twitter

“That was about a 4-hour infomercial for all that is good about Iowa State and our great fan base! We won more than just a game tonight!

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads on scoring a touchdown in the second overtime

“I didn’t want to kick the field goal.”

Quick hits

–       Official attendance for Friday’s game was 52, 027.

–       Justin Blackmon finished with 10 catches for 99 yards. Blackmon is a likely high first round pick in the NFL draft next April.

–       Albert Gary led Iowa State in receiving with 109 yards on seven grabs.

–       Iowa State has now beaten two ranked teams for the first time since 2005.

–       The Cyclones attempted 60 passes on Saturday which is the second most in team history.

–       A.J. Klein racked up a game-high 14 tackles. Next in line was Jake Knott with 13 stops.

–       Weeden broke the Oklahoma State record for career passing yards with 8,644 yards.


Ian Smith