Iowa State drops to 0-4 in Big 12 play with controversial finish in Austin

Oct 15, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers (12) throws a pass during the first half against the Texas Longhorns during at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State’s afternoon in Austin can be boiled down to five plays.

With the Cyclones facing fourth and two from their own 33-yard line, trailing No. 22 Texas 24-21 with less than five minutes on the clock, Hunter Dekkers found Xavier Hutchinson for a 15-yard gain near midfield.

Iowa State had found success with tempo offense throughout the game, and looked to go to that fast pace again ahead of first and 10 from their own 47.

Dekkers dropped back and unloaded a long pass to Hutchinson, who was standing wide open inside the Texas 10. Hutchinson’s spinning and falling attempt at the catch failed when the ball popped loose as he hit the ground.

Two plays later, Dekkers found Hutchinson again, this time for 20 yards, and another first down at the Texas 32 with just more than two minutes left on the clock.

On the ensuing first down, Dekkers kept the ball on an option play and ran to his left, he was held up by a Texas defender as another came in high to knock the ball loose as Dekkers hit the ground.

Or just before.

The officials weren’t certain who had the football after the play, once ruling it a fumble, then announcing it again as a review of the call on the field that the runner was down.

Oh, and that high hit by Texas defensive back Anthony Cook was not mentioned while initiating the replay despite numerous instances across college football, and multiple including Iowa State, of hits being reviewed for far less than the hit on this particular play.

The officials left their iPad Mini from 2010 that we still use for officials reviewing plays on the field for some reason, and confirmed the ruling on the field. Which ruling?

We’re not sure.

Regardless, Texas got the football back and knelt out a 24-21 win. Iowa State drops to 3-4 on the season and 0-4 in Big 12 play with all four losses coming by a combined 14 points.

The game’s result will put a shadow over the performance of Dekkers, who has drawn considerable criticism over the past several weeks but bounced back against the Longhorns by completing 25-of-36 passes for 329 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

That one interception did come at a critical point in the game as Iowa State held a 7-0 lead and was looking to extend that lead to two scores before Dekkers’ pass intended for tight end DeShawn was picked off in the end zone.

Despite the late drop, Hutchinson turned in another sterling, All-American-type performance by catching 10 passes for 154 yards. He was helped by a much-needed output from Jaylin Noel, who caught six passes for 94 yards and the first two touchdowns of his college career.

Texas had more success against the Iowa State defense than any other opponent this season, tallying 363 yards of total offense, 172 yards through the air and 191 yards on the ground.

The majority of that rushing attack damage was handed out by All-American tailback Bijan Robinson, who carried the ball 28 times for 135 yards.

It would not be hard to make the case that Dekkers outdueled former five-star recruit Quinn Ewers, who completed 17-of-26 passes for 172 yards and three scores.

In the end, it was Ewers’ team that came out on top on the scoreboard.

The reasons can be boiled down to those five plays.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.