Hutchinson’s heroics not enough to salvage Cyclone offense


Joseph Dicklin

ISU vs. Texas Tech – Xavier Hutchinson reaching for a one armed catch Nov. 19, 2022.

Payne Blazevich, Sports Reporter

AMES — Late in the third quarter, Iowa State was in need of points. 

The Cyclones were stagnant in a scoreless first quarter, and managed only a field goal in the second. They trailed Texas Tech 7-3, and needed to put points on the board with the fourth quarter approaching. 

With 5:41 to go in the third, Iowa State slowly worked its way down the field. A 15-yard completion to running back Eli Sanders helped the Cyclones reach the Texas Tech 10-yard line, providing an opportunity to flip the game’s momentum. 

But in four downs, Iowa State fell flat. 

“You’re down there, I think at that point we’re right there,” head coach Matt Campbell said. 

Iowa State made it as far as the two-yard line before two consecutive plays were stuffed, leaving the Cyclones empty-handed. 

Iowa State consistently came up short in its 14-10 loss against Texas Tech. The Cyclones found success moving the ball, out-gaining the Red Raiders by 176 yards, but Iowa State couldn’t capitalize in the red zone. 

“It’s frustrating, you know, I think the inconsistency, as I’ve talked about multiple times, is more in the theme of that right at the end,” Campbell said. 

The offense sputtered early on, failing to score in the first quarter. A spark in the run game and a handful of clutch catches from wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson helped put Iowa State in position to score, but nothing materialized. 

Twice, the unit made its way to the goal line, but failed to convert on fourth down. An inability to capitalize in critical moments cost Iowa State in another low-scoring loss. 

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

Iowa State reached the red zone five times, but it was only able to capitalize once. But when tight end Easton Dean broke the plane after hurdling a defender, the Cyclones found some life. 

“It was a cool moment, you know, but I just caught the ball, and just had to get in the end zone somehow and make an impact on the game,” Dean said. 

Despite the low-scoring game, the touchdown seemed to indicate that Iowa State could pull away. But after a defensive collapse the following series, Iowa State was tasked with driving the field again. 

That was too much to ask of the Cyclones. 

Xavier Hutchinson makes a sideline grab against Texas Tech on Nov. 19, 2022 (Tyler Coe)

“Man, we got the opportunity to kind of put the game away, and man we let it slide,” Campbell said. 

On its final drive, Iowa State made its way to mid-field before a loss of yardage and costly penalties put the end zone out of reach. A punt with less than three minutes left sealed the Cyclones’ fate, leaving the team empty-handed when the clock hit zero.