Takeaways: Iowa State closes out ‘Brocktober’ on a high note

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy celebrates with offensive lineman Darrell Simmons Jr. after scoring against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Oct 31, 2020.

Stephen Mcdaniel

After suffering a road loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Iowa State traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, to play a winless Kansas Jayhawks team that was coming off of a tough 55-14 road loss to Kansas State.

The Cyclones were able to bounce back from that road loss to the Cowboys, dominating Kansas on both sides of the ball in their 52-22 blowout against the Jayhawks, dropping them to a 0-6 record on the season.

An offense on fire

After struggling to get to 20 points in its 24-21 loss to Oklahoma State, Iowa State responded by hanging up an impressive 52-point performance against Kansas.

Sophomore running back Breece Hall matched his career-high 185-yard rushing performance against Oklahoma State with another 185 yards rushing against the Jayhawks, but this time, Hall ran the ball into the end zone on two separate occasions, highlighted by a 58-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Junior quarterback Brock Purdy finished his day against Kansas with 239 yards and two touchdowns on 34 attempts, to go along with his 20 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.

Purdy managed to spread the ball out much better against Kansas, completing a pass to nine different targets.

Xavier Hutchinson, Landen Akers and Charlie Kolar helped lead Iowa State’s strong passing game. Kolar caught Purdy’s first passing touchdown to make it a two-possession game, and Hutchinson was responsible for a 36-yard touchdown that came on a 4th and 1 situation for the Cyclones.

Akers turned in one of his best performances of the season, hauling in six receptions on all six targets for 76 yards. Both were career highs for Akers.

The Cyclones were even able to get a glimpse at freshman quarterback Hunter Dekkers, who completed his only two pass attempts, with the second attempt being good for a 30-yard touchdown connection with redshirt sophomore receiver Joe Scates.

This red-hot offense all started with an 18-yard rushing touchdown from redshirt senior Kene Nwangwu on Iowa State’s first drive of the game.

Cyclone blunders still sting

While all seemed well for the Cyclones, there were still some issues that could raise some eyebrows. The most notable came during the third quarter following Hall’s first rushing touchdown.

Kansas’ Kenny Logan fielded Iowa State’s kickoff inside his own end zone and proceeded to return the ball for what was credited as a 100-yard kick return touchdown, adding to the list of Iowa State special teams blunders.

This marks the second kick return touchdown Iowa State has allowed this season, to go along with the punt return touchdown it allowed against Louisiana and the blocked field goal that was returned for a defensive touchdown against Texas Tech.

During the second quarter, the Cyclones had the ball in a 3rd and 7 situation, and Purdy opted to fire in a pass to Hutchinson, who ran a slant route that was good for three yards, setting up a 4th and 4.

Iowa State went for it on fourth down but came up just short off another three-yard reception off another slant route, but with Hall as the receiver.

The failed fourth down conversion led to a scoring Kansas drive that saw Kansas convert a fourth down conversion, leading to Daniel Hishaw Jr. rushing for a five-yard touchdown out of the wildcat formation.

While neither of these made a huge difference in Iowa State’s blowout win, mistakes like these could lead to all of the differences in closer games.

Purdy ends “Brocktober” with another win

Dating back to Brock Purdy’s first appearance for the Cyclones in 2018, against Oklahoma State nonetheless, the tradition of Iowa State winning in the month of October started and was dubbed ‘Brocktober’ by Iowa State in honor of Purdy’s breakout performances.

The win over Kansas on Saturday marked the end of the third consecutive ‘Brocktober.’

In his three years of play, Purdy now holds a career record of 9-2 in the month of October, with his only two losses coming from hands of Oklahoma State on Oct. 24 and during the 2019 season.

The most recent “Brocktober” saw Purdy and the Cyclones kick off the month of October with an upset win over Oklahoma, knocking the Sooners out of the Top 25 at the time.

Following the upset win over Oklahoma, Iowa State hosted Texas Tech, and the Cyclones put on one of their best performances of the season at that time in a 31-15 win over the Red Raiders.

Iowa State suffered a bit of a setback in its 24-21 road loss against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma, but closed out the month strong with the 52-point performance against Kansas on Saturday.