Takeaways: A win over Texas sets Cyclone football up for a historic finish to its season

Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell watches from the sideline Nov. 27 in Austin, Texas. Iowa State beat Texas 23-20.

Zane Douglas

Texas and Iowa State played Friday in one of the most important games in a long time for the Cyclones with Big 12 Championship implications on the line.

Iowa State beat Texas after the Longhorns missed a 57-yard last-second field goal, which paved a clear path for the Cyclones to make it to the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time ever.

Walling saves the season

The Cyclones and Longhorns went back and forth Friday with the momentum shifting both ways, but perhaps the biggest momentum shift came late in the third quarter.

Texas got the ball on the 50-yard line after a good kick return set it up with favorable field position.

After a couple incompletions and two-yard run, Iowa State was down 20-13 with a chance to get the ball back as Texas lined up to punt.

The Longhorns tapped into their bag of tricks and tried a fake punt from the Iowa State 48-yard line. Cameron Dicker completed a pass to Cade Brewer on a flat route, which would’ve gone for a first down, but redshirt junior running back Rory Walling snuffed it out and tackled Brewer only three yards away from the first down line.

Iowa State took over on downs and would score three on the next drive, but the momentum shift was evident as Texas didn’t score again all game.

Hall’s “pedestrian” day

The Football Bowl Subdivision leader in rushing yards, sophomore running back Breece Hall, came into the game against Texas near the top of the leaderboards in many rushing categories.

He capped off the day by scoring the game-winning touchdown on a convincing drive that put the Cyclones up 23-20 ahead of the missed field goal.

Before the game, Hall was coming into the game not having had a game yet under 100 rushing yards or one rushing touchdown.

Before the last drive touchdown, Hall was in danger of losing both those streaks. Hall had trouble getting going all day, but after a solid last quarter, Hall finished with 20 rushes for 92 yards and a touchdown, almost keeping both streaks alive.

Hall would still affect the game positively for the Cyclones, but Iowa State was able to win the game when most drives weren’t focused on the sophomore running back’s production — something the Cyclones haven’t been able to do all year.

With Hall having his worst game of the year, Iowa State needed the rest of the team to step up, which it did en route to a win over the Longhorns.

Kolar breaks loose

Redshirt junior tight end Charlie Kolar has been a consistent force in the offense and a reliable weapon for junior quarterback Brock Purdy over the last two years.

Kolar hadn’t had a game where he really shined all season until Friday, where the tight end was Purdy’s go-to target — especially in important situations.

Kolar was instrumental in the last few offensive drives, making catches for big yardage and bringing the Cyclones into the red zone a couple times.

It all culminated in a solid last drive where Kolar caught a long pass that helped carry the game-winning drive. Kolar ended up with six catches for a career-high 131 yards.