Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones kick the game away against Kansas


Tyler Coe

O’Rien Vance signals fourth down against Kansas on Oct. 1.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

In a game that was covered in miscues, the Kansas Jayhawks improved to 5-0 with a 14-11 win over Iowa State.

The Cyclones had a chance to tie it up late with a field goal but missed and went on to lose for the second consecutive week.

Here are the three big takeaways from an extremely eventful Big 12 battle.

Special teams blunders

It is safe to say that special teams have not been a strong point for Iowa State in recent years, and that was once again the case on Saturday.

Defensive back Beau Freyler started off the blunders by hitting the return man for Kansas that had called for a fair catch.

Kicker Jace Gilbert missed a trio of field goals that would have swung the momentum massively in Iowa State’s favor.

The first two both hit off the upright, but head coach Matt Campbell did not lose faith in the freshman, sending him out there one final time.

The third was one that would have tied the game from 37 yards out with under a minute to play.

Noel had a blunder of his own as he muffed a punt that was recovered by the Jayhawks in the fourth quarter.

When the Cyclones had a chance to pin Kansas deep in their territory with about five minutes left to play, punter Tyler Perkins booted it into the endzone for a touchback.

The blunders were more than costly, as the errors directly resulted in fewer points for Iowa State, and more for Kansas.

Shootout got shut down

This was a game many fans expected to be one of the highest-scoring games Iowa State would play all year.

Both squads were able to shut done the opposition’s offense. The offenses were not quite stagnant, but the defenses were making huge plays on third down to force stops. At the end of the first half, there were only three scores to speak of, with them totaling a 14-8 lead in favor of Kansas.

The Jayhawks shut down the run game for Iowa State, as the Cyclones totaled just 26 yards on 30 attempts. 

On the flip side, this was a masterful performance from an Iowa State defense that had some question marks after being torched by Baylor.

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels had been having a phenomenal season thus far, but the Cyclones held him to just 93 passing yards and nine rushing yards in the game.

Make it quick

Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Manning’s plan was clear from the opening possession: quick, short passes outside of the numbers to let the receivers work in space.

Quarterback Dekkers was finding both Jaylin Noel and Xavier Hutchinson on short screen passes, and the two were having success against the Jayhawk secondary.

While the team was picking up yards on these plays, when it was not working on the early downs, the drives were stalling out. Kansas was doing an outstanding job of shutting down anything beyond the first down marker.

With about five minutes left in the second quarter, the Cyclone offensive line was able to buy Dekkers sometime, and he found Dimitri Stanley deep for a pickup of 53 yards. Dekkers was later able to find Easton Dean for a score before the half.

On the team’s first drive of the second half, Dekkers was once again able to push the ball upfield, picking up a long gain and nearly hitting him for a score later in the drive.

After the lone touchdown drive, the Cyclones went right back to their conservative ways, continuing to hit players on short crossing routes. Kansas caught on quickly once again and held the Cyclones to just 11 points.