Missed tackles, dropped passes prove costly for Iowa State

Zac Reicks

With the No. 16 Colorado Buffaloes stampeding into Ames on Saturday, the ISU football team needed to play a near- perfect game to win.

What resulted was an embarrassing defeat in which the Cyclones made mistake after mistake allowing Colorado to run away with a 40-27 win.

Passes were dropped, tackles were missed, and the Cyclones never found any rhythm as they now find themselves with two must-win games against Kansas and Iowa.

“I thought that Colorado executed . well, but when you got all of those red jerseys standing around, that is just bad defense on our part,” said ISU head coach Dan McCarney.

With Colorado leading 16-14 late in the second half, Cortlen Johnson took it to paydirt on a 50-yard screen pass that left Cyclone defenders sprawled on the ground clutching grass.

That was just the exclamation point on a day when ISU defenders couldn’t tackle anyone.

“We have to clean up our tackling,” ISU linebacker Justin Eilers said. “We were really good earlier in the season not missing tackles and not giving up big runs, and we just have to get back to that.”

Another facet of the game that hurt Iowa State was that its receivers couldn’t make clutch grabs and help sustain drives.

Wide receiver Lance Young had the most costly drop as he let a fourth-down pass slip through his fingers on a play that would have given Iowa State first and goal at the five-yard line.

“We probably could have went in for a touchdown on that, and it really hurt,” ISU quarterback Seneca Wallace said. “It was one of those nights people don’t make great grabs and the offense didn’t play well. We’ll be back next week.”

McCarney knew that drops were critical, especially the one Young mishandled.

“Seneca made as good a throw as you’ll see,” he said. “You just have to make that play.”

However, on a day when Iowa State needed to make plays they made none.