Methodical offense corrals Oklahoma State

Paul Kix

Saturday’s football game lasted two hours and 46 minutes.

Toss out the penalties, dropped passes, quarter changes and other minutiae that prolong a ball game, and the Cyclone offense had the football.

Well, not really. But the 40-plus minutes Iowa State possesed the ball is close enough.

Methodical drives defined this game’s story, like the 98-yard, 17-play behemoth that put the Cyclones up 14-0 with 2:09 left in the first half and ate up 8:32 of the clock.

“We had some tremendous drives but we also made some mistakes. I believe this was a solid win.” ISU head coach Dan McCarney said.

The mistakes surfaced as penalties: false starts, no starts (delay of game) or holding after the start.

The Cyclones were caught cheating nine times for 74 yards, yet despite McCarney’s disapproval of them – “Penalties drive me crazy” – the penalties served as testament to ISU’s offensive prowess.

After three false starts moved the ball to Iowa State’s 37-yard line in the opening possession of the game, ISU quarterback Seneca Wallace threw an 8-yard bullet to wide receiver Lane Danielsen.

The next snap, Wallace juked his way for 10 more yards. And nine more two plays later.

When running back Ennis Haywood plunged in from the one-yard line eight plays and two more penalties later, Iowa State had gone 80 yards in 19 plays and stolen all but 4:25 from the first quarter clock.

“In the first quarter,” Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles said, “they gave us so many opportunities to stop them, but Seneca made some great plays.

“We made play after play and kept the ball alive,” Wallace said, who ended the game with 150 yards through the air and 67 on the ground.

“Ennis [Haywood] was hot today,” Wallace said. “We wanted to keep giving him the ball and let him do his thing.”

The Cyclones had the ball two-thirds of the game because of Haywood.

Rushing for 196 yards and three touchdowns, none longer than 4 yards.

“Ennis is big and strong, and he is a quality back,” Miles said. “Our defense kept trying to throw a number of things at him and he had patience . You can see why he is the leading ground carrier in this league.”

Haywood’s three rushing touchdowns are a single-game career high.

His 196 yards mark the 11th time he’s rushed for over 100 as a Cyclone.

And, thanks in part to him, Iowa State finished the game with 435 yards of offense.

Yards earned in small increments.

Indeed, the longest play on any scoring drive was Wallace’s 23-yard pass to tight end Kyle Knock in the fourth quarter.

“We knew we were going to have to move the ball against them and be the momentum shifter. We had to do it on limited possessions,” OSU quarterback Aso Pogi said.

“We got a lot of talent,” ISU linebacker Matt Word said. “Hats off to the offense. They took care of business today.”