Timmons steps in and leads Cyclone secondary

Zac Reicks

There have not been many positives coming from the ISU secondary in recent weeks.

Last Saturday against Texas A&M they were burned for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns by Mark Farris. Two weeks ago against Oklahoma State, freshman Aso Pogi shredded ISU’s defensive backs for 328 yards and another two scores.

Things didn’t look much better this week against Missouri when the decision was made to keep the secondary’s best player Dustin Avey out of the lineup because of a stinger. But up stepped Marc Timmons.

Timmons, a redshirt freshmen from Florida, intercepted two passes and returned one of them 78 yards for a touchdown en route to a 39-20 Cyclone win over the Tigers. While there were many heroes who helped to win the game that night, Timmons’ exploits were instrumental in locking up Iowa State’s first winning season since 1989.

ISU Head Football Coach Dan McCarney had nothing but good things to say about the excellent play from Iowa State’s freshman safety.

“Marc, like Michael Wagner when Ennis [Haywood] went down, stepped in and did a lot of good things, made big plays,” McCarney said. “He’s not the biggest safety in the Big 12, but he’s got tenacity, he’s got timing, and he’s really coachable.”

The first of Timmons’ two interceptions came with about 6:30 left in the second quarter and Missouri nearing midfield.

“On the first pick they had run the route earlier, so I was ready for it again,” Timmons said. “I made a good break on the ball and it just stuck in my arms.”

The second interception of the night was perhaps the biggest play of the game. With Iowa State ahead 26-14 and Missouri driving deep into Cyclone territory, Timmons stepped in front of Darius Outlaw’s pass and bolted 78 yards, untouched, into the endzone.

Outlaw had kept the Tigers in the game by using both his legs and arm to move the ball for the black and gold offense. Doing his best Corby Jones imitation, he had Missouri on the brink of tightening the game even more when Timmons came to rescue.

“On that play we got good pressure on the quarterback by [Ryan] Harklau and he made a bad throw,” Timmons said.

“I just kept thinking, don’t get caught from behind and make sure you score. I didn’t hear the crowd until I got to the 5-yard line, but when I heard them it felt great,” he said.

Timmons had nothing but praise for his coaches for putting him in the position to make the big play.

“I think we have a great coaching staff with Mac and everyone else,” Timmons said. “In the past, when a starter went down we didn’t have someone who could step up and replace him. The coaches have done an excellent job of recruiting talent and improving the depth of our team.”

And while Avey was not on the field helping the Clones win Saturday’s contest, the coaching help provided by the four year starter was evident in Timmons play.

“[Avey] told me to play smart, play fast and let the game come to you,” Timmons said.

“He’s a four-year starter, so I take everything he says as if it’s coming out of the Bible.”

Next week Timmons and the ISU secondary will have their work cut out for them when they take on Kansas State.

“They have some of the the best receivers in the conference, if not in the entire nation,” Timmons said.