NOTEBOOK: Defense maintains solidarity despite fatigue


Jake Knott, Jake McDonough and Roosevelt Maggitt try to tackle a player during the game against Texas Tech on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones lost 24-13. 

Stephen Koenigsfeld

In the ISU football team’s loss to Texas Tech, fans saw defense — a lot of defense.

Combined, the Red Raiders and the Cyclones had just 584 offensive yards. Even more jarring, the Cyclones were kept to less than 100 passing yards for the first time since 2010.

ISU coach Paul Rhoads prided both defenses during the postgame news conference.

“Two fantastic defensive efforts by our kids and the Texas Tech defense,” Rhoads said. “To win the [Big 12,] you’ve got to persevere; they got that done better than we did tonight.”

The Red Raider offense had the ball in their possession for almost 10 more minutes than Iowa State did. In the first half, that didn’t seem to matter. 

The teams went into halftime tied 7–7, but after being on the field time and time again, it seemed to have wiped out parts of the ISU defense.

“When you’re playing a number of snaps, the advantage goes to the offense in the conditioning factor,” Rhoads said. “Their playmakers are coming on and off the field. Our defense and 11 are staying out there for every snap.”

Defensive lineman Jake McDonough said being on the field as much as the defense was wasn’t a factor for him with Texas Tech dominating the time of possession battle by almost 10 minutes.

“I think of it as another opportunity to take the field,” McDonough said. “It’s fun to go back out their on the field. I’m always out there dancing around, having a good time.”

McDonough said it was fun to play the game, but not so much to come out on the losing side of the game.

Up-tempo speed

In the second half, Texas Tech’s offense picked up the pace. With the defense on the field over and over again, it was hard for the ISU defense to keep up with the pace.

“That fast-paced [offense] can wear on you, especially if you don’t have depth at any positions,” McDonough said. “But it’s nice to have depth now at any position.”

Linebacker Jake Knott wasn’t as reserved about the feeling of being on the field for almost 35 minutes.

“[The tempo] was tough, but it didn’t affect us too much,” Knott said. “It’s a credit to our strength and conditioning staff for getting us ready for that kind of stuff.”

Knott said the loss is a little heavier than some losses. He said this was a chance to get some of the national recognition they thought they deserved, and they came up short.

The Cyclones will be back in action Saturday with their second road test of the year. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. in Fort Worth, Texas, when the Cyclones face newcomer Texas Christian.