Back to Earth

Luke Plansky

With an 11-point lead and five minutes to play, the ISU football team was in position for its second win of the season.

Instead, a meltdown on special teams sent the Cyclones home reeling in a 36-35 loss to Toledo. Tailback J.J. Bass ran for a one-yard touchdown on fourth-and-1 with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter to give Iowa State a 35-24 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Toledo running back Jalen Parmele ran through multiple ISU tackles 82 yards for a touchdown. Iowa State went three-and-out on their next possession, stalling on its 32-yard line.

The snap on the punt went past punter Mike Brandtner into the endzone, and was eventually recovered by the Rockets’ Greg Hay. Toledo (1-3) went for a two-point conversion but was unsuccessful.

Drenard Williams set up the Cyclones on the ISU 48 yard-line on the kickoff. Quarterback Bret Meyer drove Iowa State to the 21-yard line, but with just over 10 seconds left a 38-yard field goal attempt by Bret Culbertson was blocked.

Bass finished with 34 carries for 134 yards (3.9 avg. per carry) and scored two touchdowns. Meyer was 24 of 33 for 251 yards and three touchdowns, including a 26-yard score to Todd Blythe early in the third quarter to give Iowa State a 21-17 lead – its first of the game.

Toledo’s Aaron Opelt threw a 42-yard touchdown pass three possessions later to take back the lead. Meyer then completed a 10-play, 76-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass off the fingertips of tight end Ben Barkema into the hands of tight end Derrick Catlett with 2:27 left in the third.

Iowa State out-gained Toledo, 397-297, on offense and converted on 10 of 19 third downs. Conversely, the defense held the Rockets to four of 12 on third down plays.

The Cyclones are on the road again next Saturday, facing No. 24 Nebraska (3-1) in Lincoln.