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Football

NOTEBOOK: Stingy defense, Lanning’s self-appraisal and more

 AMES — There were hugs, handshakes, maybe even some tears in the wake of Iowa State’s 24-0 pounding of Texas Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.

 Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham found himself in the middle of it all — and the joyous post-victory moments the veteran coach shared in greatly pleased linebacker Levi Peters.

 "Wally, he’s the reason I’m here," said Peters, who had two sacks in the win. "He’s given me a chance to do what I’ve done here and I have so much respect for Wally. For his scheme and his game plans to come together like this, it’s awesome. I can’t describe how happy i am for Wally.”

 The Cyclones allowed 204 yards all night — the third-lowest total they’ve ever yielded in Big 12 play. They recorded their first shutout since a 34-0 thrashing of Kansas in 2013 and improved to 27-2 all-time under head coach Paul Rhoads when holding an opponents below 24 points.

 "They tackled better, they pursued better, they put pressure on the quarterback and they got what’s been coming to them with that shutout," Rhoads said. "They played really good football. I would argue that for the last 100 minutes they’ve played really, really good defense."

 ISU (3-5, 2-3) held No. 2 Baylor to 10 second-half points in last week’s 45-27 loss at Waco. Not one unranked team had blanked the Longhorns (3-5, 2-3) since 1961 until Saturday.

 "The defense did a phenomenal job and that just shows you the relentless effort that the defense gave,” standout receiver Allen Lazard said.

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 LANNING ASSESSES FIRST START

 Joel Lanning‘s first start as a Cyclone quarterback included some underthrown balls and big bruising runs. Oh, he also threw for a 19-yard touchdown to Dondre Daley and didn’t turn the ball over once.

 So how’d the sophomore appraise his 19 of 37, 188-yard passing performance?

 "A lot of my balls were diving on guys, so that’s probably what it is, throwing off my back foot a lot," said Lanning, who’s thrown five touchdowns passes with no picks this season. "I’ll get that fixed with coach Sturdy this week."

 Lanning shined on the move, turning scrambles and designed runs alike into third-down conversions. The Cyclones turned 15 of 24 third downs into first downs.

 "It just gets the whole crowd into it," Lazard said of Lanning’s running style. "It gets you into it. You see him making plays, throwing his body out there, being reckless and stuff, it just gives you a little more juice.”

 Lanning views his willingness to take on defenders with a lowered shoulder as the pragmatic approach downfield. 

 "The thing about DBs is they’re a lot quicker than me, so I can’t put a move on them and try to run around them, so I’m going to either do that or get down or something," Lanning said. "That’s just something that happens in a game — just flowing with the game.”

 LAZARD BRINGS PERSPECTIVE

 Lazard missed last week’s loss to Baylor with a shoulder injury. He caught six passes for 66 yards in his return to the lineup and was asked about his general health after the game.

 "I feel great," Lazard said. "(Defensive lineman) Mitchell Meyers is fighting for his life (while being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma), so I think I’ll be all right."

 RHOADS ON BEATING TEXAS FOR A SECOND TIME

 "When we beat then the first time (in 2010) it was historical because we were the first program to beat the University if Texas in football in the history of this school," Rhoads said. "I guess that makes this one historical, too. Now we’re the first one to beat them twice — and shut them out."

 Rhoads wasn’t done.

 "I don’t know how this comes across," he continued. "I don’t know how this comes across, but I’ll say it anyway: We shouldn’t beat Texas, probably. We shouldn’t beat Texas, probably. Every kid that they recruit, if I go recruit them, I’m not going to get them. I’m not going to get them. But we did. And we have twice. Because the program’s moving in the right direction. I’ve got great coaches. And I’ve got unbelivable players that care and play for passion in the cardinal and gold jerseys that they wear."

 BURTON’S INJURY

 Offensive lineman Daniel Burton went down with an apparent leg injury during the win. Rhoads said the injury is "probably not good," but it’s not likely season ending. 

R

Rob Gray

administrator

Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.