Football

WILLIAMS: Why a sloppy win at Kansas was very encouraging

Nov 12, 2016; Lawrence, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back David Montgomery (32) rushes up field against Kansas Jayhawks defensive back Brandon Stewart (8) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Cyclones finally figured out a way to put one in the win column. That’s what I am choosing to take away from Saturday’s 31-24 victory at Kansas.

There is plenty that we can nitpick and there is room for that too. After all, a growing program should not merely settle for nail-biting victory in Lawrence. Iowa State should strive to be better than that.

But think about it this way: This is an Iowa State program that has consistently found new ways to lose – I’m sorry – blow football games over the last couple of seasons.

By failing to capitalize off of a muffed punt and then turning the ball over in the red-zone, the Cyclones shot themselves in the foot twice in the first quarter while going down early.

“Here we go again,” I thought.

During the first half, Kansas’ lines on both side of the ball decimated Iowa State.

As former Cyclone Lane Danielson told me after the game on Cyclone Reaction, “When you’re 1-8, if something goes wrong it’s really easy to hang your head and quit.”

Tack on the blocked PAT along with the dropped passes.

At halftime, the guys regrouped and found a way to get the job done.

“A culture win,” Matt Campbell said in postgame.

Was it an impressive win? Hardly because let’s face it, Kansas stinks.

But it’s a start for a program that (pardon the cliché) does not “know how to win.”

Who knows if this expected victory (the Cyclones were 10 point favorites) will carry over to next week or even next year, but we could be having a much different conversation after week 11.

For once, the Cyclones found a way to win, which is certainly something to build on.

Now bring on Bama.