Cyclones stay positive and focused after falling to Baylor


Jacob Rice

Cyclone Jaylin Noel rushes down the field against Baylor on Sept. 24

AMES — For the first 11 a.m. game of the season, Iowa State football hoped to find their fourth consecutive win as they faced the Baylor Bears. Those hopes didn’t turn out the way they planned.

Nonetheless, the Cyclones are feeling strong and positive about what the rest of the season will bring and will learn from the loss.

“I love the way our leadership keeps playing, I love the way that the leadership continues to not look at the scoreboard and just keep playing,” head coach Matt Campbell said.

The stands of Jack Trice Stadium were packed with open seats nearly impossible to spot.

“The fans at Jack Trice are electric,” said wide receiver Dimitri Stanley.

As the Cyclones won the coin toss but chose to defer, it was the Bears who would start with the ball. However, the game was not in the Cyclones favor as the Bears drove down the field.

After coming back from getting banged up against Iowa, No. 17 Beau Freyler was disqualified for targeting on the fourth play of the game. Later on, a potential targeting call on Baylor was not reviewed after running back Jirehl Brock went down.

“That guy’s [Freyler] a special football player…it’s never easy losing a player like that in a game,” Campbell said.

After being down for a minute, Brock was able to walk off the field and looked to just be shaken up from the play. Nonetheless, the crowd let the refs know that they did not agree with their calls.

With head coach Matt Campbell not looking too thrilled, the Cyclones persevered to make their way down the field. A 28-yard pass from quarterback Hunter Dekkers to wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson put Iowa State at the one-yard line.

On fourth and goal, Brock scored a two-yard touchdown for Iowa State keeping the score square at 7-7.

Although the Cyclone defense held the Bears from scoring again, a 24-yard field goal put Baylor up 10-7. When the ball was given back to the Bears, a 36-yard pass from Blake Shapen to Gavin Holes along with two Iowa State penalties put Baylor further ahead on the board.

Defensive back T.J. Tampa discussed the importance of moving on and staying focused on what’s ahead.

“Our coaches always say just focus on what we do and try not to worry about all that and let the coaches handle it and just play defense,” Tampa said.

Nonetheless, Tampa said it can be difficult to move forward and not think about what has happened in the past.

“We’ve been battling it forever and been put in position…we just keep playing,” Tampa said.

Although a loss for the Cyclones, Tampa had a career-high of eight tackles.

Gerry Vaughn and Colby Reeder worked together to sack Shapen; the Baylor quarterback. Doing so forced the punt team out and allowed the Cyclones to score on more time before the half.

Having been out with an illness against Ohio, Stanley, a transfer from Colorado, received his first touchdown as a Cyclone.

“I was glad I was finally able to get in there,” Stanley said.

Nonetheless, the Cyclones still trailed the Bears 17-14 at the end of the first half.

Dimitri Stanley scores wide open touchdown against Baylor on Sept. 24. (Jacob Rice)

As the second half began, Baylor continued to stretch their lead. With a Dekkers interception from Baylor’s Devin Neal, the Bears had that much more of an advantage to score.

That drive turned into an unsuccessful fourth down attempt. However, after Iowa State took their shot at scoring, Baylor’s Richard Reese ran for 19 yards to put the Bears up 24-14.

Nonetheless, the defense stayed strong. O’rien Vance and McDonald teamed up to sack Shapen for a loss of ten yards.

After a slower third quarter, came a fourth quarter that looked about the same.

Dekkers threw his second interception of the day as the pass was caught by Baylor’s Christian Morgan.

In doing so, it took four plays and 64 yards in under two minutes for the Bears to score again. A 38-yard pass from Shapen to Holmes put their lead to 31-14.

Iowa State had the chance to score as Brock ran 37 yards towards the end zone. The run ended in a fumble at the one-yard line.

However, the play was reviewed and the ref’s found that Brock had regained possession of the ball in the end zone after the initial fumble. The Cyclones now trailed by ten, 31-21.

As the minutes went down in the fourth quarter, Iowa State was not able to get ahead of Baylor and found themselves with their first loss of the season.

A 50-yard pass from Dekkers to Jaylin Noel helped put the Cyclones in scoring position but all that game out was a field goal.

The final score became 31-24.

Next week will bring another challenge as the Cyclones will face the Jayhawks of Kansas.

“You’re going to get challenged every week and you better have great poise and leadership to navigate,” Campbell said.