Mistakes, turnovers plague Cyclones in loss


Steele Jantz walks the sidelines after the Cyclone loss to Texas on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Cyclones had a total of eight penalties, accounting for 90 lost yards.

Jake Calhoun

By the time the play clock struck zero, the good feelings from weeks past had gone away and the euphoria that had resulted from three comeback victories had quickly evaporated.

The ISU football team opened conference play with a 37-14 loss to now-No. 11 Texas, which took a 34-0 lead at halftime in front of a crowd of 56,390 at Jack Trice Stadium — the second-largest in ISU history — on Saturday night.

“Anything that could go wrong went wrong for us today,” said junior linebacker Jake Knott. “You can’t have that, especially against a team like the Texas Longhorns.”

The Cyclones (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) turned the ball over three times and committed eight penalties for 90 yards in their bout with the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0).

“When you lose, you talk about the mistakes you made; when you win, you talk about the mistakes that you forced,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “Tonight we forced the turnovers, and if you force a lot of turnovers and take care of the football like we did tonight, you’re going to win a lot of football games.”

Iowa State, which began the game 116th in the nation in turnover margin, worsened it to -8 after two fumbles and an interception, all of which took place in the tense moments of the first quarter.

“I haven’t really figured that out,” said ISU quarterback Steele Jantz of the early turnovers. “Maybe it’s just because we need to make it a bigger point of emphasis to come out stronger. Not so much just playing hard, but not about making mistakes early and just being more aware of that.”

The tables turned one year after Iowa State upset then-No. 22 Texas 28-21 in Austin — a game that continued to resonate with the Longhorns.

“You never want to use words like ‘revenge,’ but we all have memories [of last year],” said UT safety Blake Gideon, who picked off Jantz while Iowa State was driving in UT territory and returned it into the ISU red zone.

“We know how they came in and really dominated us from start to finish last year. We wanted to make sure we prepared the right way this year, and we came out and started a fest.”

Motivation aside, the Longhorns and Cyclones did not show any clear disparities on the stat sheet. The Longhorns outgained the Cyclones by only 20 yards in total offensive production while the Cyclones registered more first downs with only a minute and a half less in possession time.

“We could’ve played extremely better,” said running back James White, who scored a team-high fourth rushing touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter. “We know we can compete with anybody in the Big 12 Conference, but we’re pretty disappointed.”

Texas capitalized on the Cyclones’ mistakes, scoring 27 of its 34 first-half points off of three ISU turnovers in the first quarter. Leonard Johnson’s personal foul call on fourth down gave the Longhorns a new set of downs and led to the Longhorns’ eventual score, and a blocked ISU punt was returned 34 yards for a touchdown.

“It really doesn’t matter if it is red zone, when you get possessions you have to do something with [them],” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads after the game. “When you are facing a team as good as Texas, you cannot turn the ball over.

“It was one of the major keys to victory in a game like this is to win the turnover margin. We were not even close to doing that.”