Iowa State football uses a complete team effort in win against Baylor

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell calls a play during the Cyclones’ 45-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 14, 2017.

Brian Mozey

As a football team, a head coach always looks for a team effort regarding wins, but most of the time the offense or defense takes control of the game.

The Cyclones used a complete team effort though on Saturday in the 23-13 win at Baylor to improve their record to 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the Big 12. This win also allowed Iowa State to have its first winning season since 2009.

In both the offense and defense, there were specific individuals that had a bigger impact and led the two sides to an Iowa State victory. The Cyclones had some big plays and some records shattered that allowed momentum to carry in Iowa State’s favor.

“We couldn’t catch the momentum of the game [in the first half]. Little things were kind of shooting us in the foot,” said coach Matt Campbell. “I thought the second half, we played Iowa State football.”

The offense started and ended with redshirt freshman quarterback Zeb Noland under center. Throughout the week, Noland was preparing to come in as starter after an injury to Kyle Kempt’s throwing arm ended his game early against Oklahoma State last weekend.

Noland wasn’t the biggest star though on the offense. His 180 passing yards, two touchdowns and 50 percent pass completion rate, was pushed aside by sophomore running back David Montgomery’s performance.

Montgomery had 27 carries for 144 rushing yards, but didn’t find the end zone all afternoon. He continued to do what he does best, which is break tackles and find the open lanes.

Those broken tackles led to a record for Montgomery as he passed current Minnesota Viking and former Florida State running back Dalvin Cook for most broken tackles in a single season. Cook had 89 last season and Montgomery still has another game to go.

Montgomery and the Iowa State offense had a small scare with a little under five minutes left in the game. The running back was tackled awkwardly allowing two Baylor tacklers to hit his upper and lower body at the same time.

He stayed on the ground and was helped off the field, not putting any weight on his left leg. Montgomery was sent back to the locker room to take X-rays.

After the game, Campbell said Montgomery had an ankle sprain, but no tears or breaks.

“Everything came back positive, so that part is really good,” Campbell said. “If I know David [Montgomery], he’ll be ready to roll, but that’s an early prediction. No breaks, no strains, nothing like that.”

Montgomery wasn’t the only player to break records during the Baylor game. Senior wide receiver Allen Lazard had his taste of Iowa State records today.

Lazard only had two catches against Baylor, but the 52 receiving yards pushed him past former wide receiver Todd Blythe for most receiving yards in Iowa State history. The special part out of this record is that Lazard broke the record, but he also caught his ninth touchdown of the season along the way.

Along with Lazard and Montgomery, the defense made sure to give Iowa State some opportunities to score on offense. They did this by creating turnovers, two to be exact.

Defensive coordinator Jon Heacock and the entire coaching staff preach to the defensive players about winning the turnover battle each week and it’s shown on the field for game day.

Iowa State is 7-0 when it wins the turnover battle, but 0-4 when it falls short or ties. That perfect record continues to stay unbroken as the Cyclones won the turnover battle against the Bears and it resulted in yet another win.

“Defensively, we’ve been able to dedicate the pace of the game,” Campbell said. “I thought we were able to do for a lot of the second half.”

Those two turnovers came from Brian Peavy and Reggie Wilkerson. Peavy won the first turnover after a he ripped the ball out of Baylor’s John Lovett’s hands at Iowa State’s three-yard line in the beginning of the fourth quarter.

The other turnover came from Reggie Wilkerson once again in Baylor’s red zone when Baylor’s quarterback Charlie Brewer threw a bullet down the middle, but Wilkerson spotted it before Brewer released it and picked it off at the Iowa State seven-yard line.

These two turnovers helped the Cyclones keep the Bears to only three points in the second half, a common trend Iowa State has against offenses all season.

Peavy led the team with 10 total tackles and Wilkerson finished with eight tackles. Joel Lanning celebrated his birthday with a victory and four tackles including one sack.

The team has one more game left after Thanksgiving when the Cyclones hit the road to Kansas State. Even though Iowa State needs a miracle for a spot in the Big 12 Championship title game, this upcoming game can determine a placement for the bowl season.

“We have such a big football game left against one of the, in my opinion, premier programs in our conference,” Campbell said. “What you want to do is push your program in the right direction. It’s great to be moving forward instead of backwards in this football program.”