Oct 14, 2017; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Reggan Northrup (9) is called for targeting on Kansas Jayhawks wide receiver Ryan Schadler (33) during the fourth quarter at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State beat Kansas 45 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
AMES — Oct. 26, 1963.
That is the last time Iowa State allowed fewer than 110 yards of total offense to a conference opponent. The Cyclones held Missouri to 59 yards on that day but on Saturday, it was Kansas that eked out only 106 yards.
The Jayhawks had 11 three-and-outs. Iowa State forced two turnovers and had nine tackles for loss. The Cyclones (4-2) won 45-0 on a wet, sloppy day at Jack Trice Stadium to move their Big 12 record to 2-1 for the first time since 2002 (a team that started 3-0).
“I think the whole thing was really impressive in my sense, because the one thing Kansas does is they do so much offensively,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said about his defense. “They showed that all year. I thought the biggest thing, and I know it’s the statistic, 2-of-17 on third down, you know, the ability to get off the field on third down, that’s when you can start to limit a team’s yardage and I thought that was really big. Then 0-for-2 on fourth down conversions, you’re talking 2-of-19 in some critical moments and some critical opportunities. So I think really, really big from our defense’s standpoint.”
Kansas entered the game averaging for 161 rushing yards per game. Iowa State held them to 62. The Jayhawks averaged 5.8 yards per play in their first five games. On Saturday, the Cyclones allowed them 1.8 yards per play.
Iowa State’s defense was able to rush three down linemen and create pressure on both Kansas quarterbacks — Peyton Bender, who went 8-of-19 for 18 yards, and Carter Stanley, 3-of-7 for 26 yards — throughout the entire game.
Only one Kansas drive ended inside of Iowa State territory — and it did not come until there was eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“We were just playing,” junior defensive back De’Monte Ruth said. “We didn’t look at the scoreboard. We didn’t look at the stats or anything. We were just playing defense how we were taught to play. We were running our coverages, running our pressure blitzes and we were just playing D.”
It was Iowa State’s fourth shutout of a conference opponent in the Big 12 era. The last one came against Texas in 2015 and the time before that was against these same Jayhawks in 2013.
On a day some people expected Iowa State to come out with a hangover following its historic win over Oklahoma, the Cyclones’ defense played its best game of the season.
“They’re hard to come by so when you can do that against any team it is big,” senior linebacker Joel Lanning, who finished with a team-high 10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 34 yards on eight carries, said about the shutout. “I remember, two years ago when we had the one against Texas. Just shows you that the defense was clicking today and we were on all cylinders today as a defense.”
They said it
*** Senior safety Kamari Cotton-Moya on his first quarter interception to set up Iowa State’s first score.
“Reggie Wilkerson made a great play, he was in the right position,” Cotton-Moya said. “We knew they were going to try to throw the ball across the middle and do a couple things. He made a great play. He should have caught it, but if the field was dry he would have caught the ball. Since it was raining, ball was slippery, bouncing around a little bit. He made a great play, hit him in the stomach or the hands, wherever it hit him, and it bounced right into my hands. I was lucky to make a couple yards after that.”
*** Campbell on the growth of the defense.
“We continue to grow,” Campbell said. “A lot of it was the guys on defense. The coaches have really done a great job brining this group along. We’re still young, but we’ll only continue to get better. I give credit to those guys on defense, thought they did well early on. The physicality and the detail they played with was really important.”