Three Big Takeaways: Cyclone offense stalls out at goal line four times in loss to Texas Tech

Hunter+Dekkers+hands+the+ball+of+to+Eli+Sanders+during+a+14-10+loss+against+Texas+Tech+on+Nov.+19%2C+2022

Tyler Coe

Hunter Dekkers hands the ball of to Eli Sanders during a 14-10 loss against Texas Tech on Nov. 19, 2022

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

AMES — Four failed redzone trips costed the Cyclones a much-needed win, losing 14-10 to Texas Tech on Saturday.

Here are the three big takeaways from an eventful game with a wild finish.

Empty possessions

The Cyclones have struggled to move the ball downfield all year long; however, that was not the issue for them on Saturday. Iowa State repeatedly got into Texas Tech’s side of the field, scoring on just one of five redzone trips.

“I thought there were good play calls. I thought really there was a lack of execution, and why that happened, I don’t know,” Campbell said.

Coming into the game, the Cyclones ranked 106th out of 131 teams in redzone scoring percent, with 28 scores in 36 appearances. 

With a fourth and 15 looming and just over two minutes to play, the Cyclones elected to punt and would not get the ball back for the rest of the game.

Kicking struggles

Whether it was the winter weather or just another day for the Cyclones, the mistakes were evident. 

A fumble from Texas Tech on one of the first few plays of the game put Iowa State in the redzone to start, but kicker Drake Nettles missed the kick. This was the first time all season that head coach Matt Campbell went away from the freshman Jace Gilbert, and it did not pay off.

Easton Dean looks for the end-zone against Texas Tech on Nov. 19, 2022 (Tyler Coe)

“Drake kind of had a better week this week,” Campbell said. “Right or wrong we believe in Drake, he’s a good kid and he has done a great job for our team and earned the right to be out there,” Campbell said.

Nettles had another chance at a field goal late in the first half, after Xavier Hutchinson made a toe-tap catch to set the team up. Nettles failed to make the kick, putting him at 1-3 on attempts in the first half.

Bowl chances squashed

With the loss, the Cyclones now have a 4-7 record. Needing to finish 6-6 to clinch a bowl game, the Cyclones no longer control their own destiny.

There will likely be some teams that are selected to play in a bowl game with a 5-7 record this season, but that means the Cyclones will have to go out and beat No. 4 TCU next week.

Beau Freyler said that all the Cyclones can do now is move on to the next one and try to go out on top.

The Horned Frogs have an 11-0 record, having no trouble taking care of the rest of the Big 12 conference.

The game is set to begin at 3 p.m. on Nov. 26 with the network to be determined between FOX and FS1.