Nov 18, 2017; Waco, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back David Montgomery (32) rushes through the line against the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports
While Saturday’s game in Manhattan ended with a gut-punch, Iowa State did secure a stat that has never been accomplished in the history of major college football. The Cyclones became the first FBS team to complete the regular season without losing a fumble.
Three teams in college football history went the full season with only one lost fumble, all three being from the MAC: Northern Illinois in 2004, Miami (OH) in 1998 and Bowling Green in 1996. Nebraska and Penn State each lost only two fumbles this season to finish second in the FBS.
Iowa State going a full season is kind of remarkable when you consider recovering fumbles can often be predicated on luck. I mean, this is an oblong ball bouncing on grass while 22 different sets of legs and arms surround it on the field.
Fumbles are incredibly unpredictable.
The Cyclones made them more predictable by putting the ball on the turf only six times in 12 games. It helped Iowa State finish plus-11 in turnover margin, tied for the ninth best number in college football.
While the regular season ended with a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, it is pretty cool to know Iowa State became the first team to do something in the nearly 40 year history of FBS football.