Iowa State falters from penalties, turnovers against Oklahoma State


Redshirt freshman quarterback Grant Rohach drops back to pass while under pressure during Iowa State’s 58-27 lose to Oklahoma State at Jack Trice Stadium on Oct. 26, 2013. Rohach replaced starting quarterback Sam Richardson after he sustained an injury.

Dylan Montz

Penalties and turnovers that resulted in touchdowns and tackles that were missed combined to be a recipe for disaster for Iowa State.

The Cyclones (1-6, 0-4 Big 12) dug themselves into a 21-0 hole early and couldn’t manage to climb all the way out as they lost to Oklahoma State 58-27 on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.

Iowa State was at a 21-0 disadvantage less than 10 minutes into the game including an interception thrown by Sam Richardson to Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert resulting in a touchdown.

The ISU offense was finally sparked by a 38-yard pass from quarterback Sam Richardson to tight end E.J. Bibbs. The drive culminated in a 22-yard touchdown catch for Quenton Bundrage, and the Cyclones began to find a foothold on offense.

“We had an atrocious start and then both Sam and Grant [Rohach] and the offense started executing and doing some things,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads. “Keys in the passing game are throwing accurate balls and catching them. We started doing those things when we scored the three touchdowns.”

After Richardson left the game due to an upper back injury near the beginning of the second quarter with the score 28-14 in favor of Oklahoma State, the ISU offense turned to Rohach, the redshirt freshman quarterback who led the Cyclones to an 11-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in Bundrage’s 20-yard touchdown catch.

Only down 28-20 at halftime, Iowa State couldn’t recreate the success it had on offense in the second quarter and allowed Oklahoma State to score 24 unanswered points, effectively putting a win out of reach. After playing against Baylor last week, Rohach was 12-of-23 passing for 97 yards and a touchdown, but he realized there were throws he missed to give the Cyclones a chance answer the Cowboys.

“I can put a lot of the blame on me for not hitting guys when they were open and not checking us to the right run play we should be in,” Rohach said. “Pretty much just shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Iowa State also put itself in unfavorable field positions and tallied eight penalties for 52 yards after the first half compared to the zero committed by Oklahoma State. Missed tackles on defense also piled up as the Cyclones allowed just 78 yards passing by the Cowboys, but gave up 342 on the ground.

Senior linebacker Jeremiah George attributed the run game to somewhat unsound play by the ISU defense in the gaps of the Cowboys’ offensive line and penalties that kept Iowa State on the field after stops on third down.

After two consecutive weeks of giving up 71 and 58 points respectively, George’s confidence in his team and Rhoads isn’t shaken.

“I’ve got one of the best coaches in the country, if not the best,” George said of Rhoads. “He does nothing but teach and encourage, put his arm around guys. He trust[s] us and we trust him, so I have so much confidence. I’m just ready to keep playing with this team, this family.”