Dohnal: A waiting game for Iowa State football


Tyler Coe

Xavier Hutchinson points to the sideline as he lines up for the snap against Kansas on Oct. 1.

The Iowa State Cyclones are now 0-2 in Big 12 play and currently are tied for last in the Big 12 standings. 

West Virginia and Oklahoma are the only other Big 12 teams that have yet to win a conference game. And, to much surprise, Kansas stands in first with a 5-0 record. 

The Jayhawks were put at No. 19 in the AP top 25 poll and will have college gameday visiting them in Lawrence as they face TCU Saturday. Kansas has not been ranked in the poll or had a 5-0 record since 2009. 

While the future is looking exciting for Kansas, Iowa State, unfortunately, cannot say the same. 

The Cyclones started off strong with a 3-0 start. Personally, I thought they would be able to bring that momentum and energy into their conference play. 

Yes, conference games tend to be more challenging than non-conference. However, having the first Big 12 game of the season at home in Ames, I’ll admit I expected a win. Even if that meant in overtime or a field goal to win it. 

Looking into the recent game against Kansas, going on the road to the stadium of an undefeated team is not easy at any cost. Nonetheless, the Cyclones made many mistakes. 

Hunter Dekkers has gone one game without throwing an interception, the 43-10 win over Ohio. Mistakes like that happen, but at the end of the day, they will cost you.

Additionally, kicker Jace Gilbert missed three field goals. If he would have made those, the final score could have ended up with a 20-14 win. 

I was quite surprised to see that Gilbert missed a field goal–let alone three. Prior to the game, Gilbert had made all of his field goal attempts and only made one out of his four attempts against Kansas.

It makes me wonder whether or not there was some type of mental block going through Gilbert’s head or if it was just the nerves of being a freshman at his first conference away game. 

In the post-game press conference, head coach Matt Campbell expressed that we may never know whether or not it was the right play call to put Gilbert out for one more kick attempt in hopes of tying the game and putting it into overtime. 

Nonetheless, Campbell still has countless amounts of faith in Gilbert no matter the outcome. 

On the flip side, I was impressed that the Iowa State defense was able to keep Kansas from racking up points and making it a blowout game. I praise Iowa State for being able to stick with the Jayhawks and continuing to fight no matter what happens in a single play. 

While it is tough to see the first two conference games end in a loss, Campbell knows that his team is going to continue to learn and grow. You can see the passion that these athletes have, and I have faith that they will soon find their groove. 

This team is filled with both veterans and newbies, and both groups are working together to find a physical and mental connection. 

I believe once the Cyclones can get a Big 12 win under their belts, it’ll be smooth sailing the rest of the way. 

As they are set to face Kansas State, they’ll be back at home and in a night game environment with fans pumped and hopeful for a victory. 

Their time is coming. It’s just a waiting game.