Humbling loss forces Iowa State to look ahead
Nov. 02, 2014
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Burn the tape. Dump the ashes. Forget it and move on to the next one.
Iowa State's 59-14 loss to No. 19 Oklahoma on Saturday is one the Cyclones need to put as far behind them as possible.
"We've got to regroup as a team," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "We've got to do that immediately tomorrow as we go back to work."
It wasn't just the score or the Sooners' 751 total yards that hurt. The Cyclones are getting beat up as well.
Middle linebacker Jevohn Miller, the team's leading tackler, injured a knee when he was chop blocked on the game's second play — an Oklahoma touchdown — and his status for the rest of the season is uncertain.
Nose guard Brandon Jensen, trying to get back from a knee injury suffered two weeks ago, went out after the first series and didn't return. Cornerback Nigel Tribune, one of the Big 12 leaders in passes defended, did not play at all because of a groin injury.
Without Miller and Jensen clogging up the middle, the Sooners (6-2, 3-2 Big 12, No. 18 CFP) gashed the Cyclones (2-6, 0-5) for 510 yards on the ground, their most since rushing for 518 against New Mexico State in 1989.
"They went after us and they certainly got their production," Rhoads said.
With all that happening to the defense, Iowa State needed a big game from its offense to have any chance of keeping up with the Sooners and that unit didn't come through.
Quarterback Sam Richardson, coming off two straight games of 300-plus passing yards, never found his rhythm and his receivers dropped several passes that found their mark.
"It was pretty much plays not being completed, just miscommunication out there today," said wide receiver D'Vario Montgomery, who caught a 59-yard pass for Iowa State's second touchdown. "Today was just not our day for offense."
Richardson threw for 239 yards, but he completed only 15 of 40 attempts and joined the injured list when he hurt his throwing hand on a pass in the fourth quarter. He's expected to be ready for next Saturday's game at Kansas.
"I would bet there were 20-plus pass plays where we either misfired with the ball or dropped it," Rhoads said. "Against a team like that, you're needing every one of them. We misfired badly in the pass game today."
Trevor Knight led the Oklahoma rout, becoming the first FBS player this season to throw three TD passes and rush for three touchdowns in a game.
On Saturday night, Notre Dame's Everett Golson matched Knight's feat, throwing for three touchdowns and running for three scores in a 49-39 victory over Navy.
Knight had 230 yards passing, completing 22 of 35 throws, and a career-high 146 yards rushing as the Sooners beat the Cyclones for the 43rd time in their past 45 tries. Oklahoma had 480 yards and a 35-7 lead at halftime, a promising sign ahead of next week's matchup with Baylor in Norman.
But star wide receiver Sterling Shepard was carted off with an apparent leg injury in the first quarter and did not return.
It didn't slow the Sooners in the least — and Iowa State helped with sloppy defense. That and the struggles on offensive negated the Cyclones' three interceptions.
"As a defense, we always want to have those takeaways," linebacker Luke Knott said. "But when we weren't having takeaways, we were giving up long runs, long passes. It was unacceptable as a defense."
It was so bad for the Cyclones that when they fooled Oklahoma completely with a fake punt, a wide open Qujuan Floyd dropped the pass from punter Holden Kramer.
Had Floyd caught the ball, the Cyclones might have had a chance to make things interesting. Instead, Oklahoma promptly drove for a touchdown to make it 35-7.
"Obviously it was there," Rhoads said. "We're down 28-7 and we're going to end up inside the 20 at the very least, if not score on the play. There was still enough momentum and life in us at that time. At 28-14 I would have been thrilled to see what we could have done."
The last time Iowa State beat Oklahoma in Ames was in 1960 — three days before the presidential election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
It didn't take long for the Sooners to turn this one into another landslide over the Cyclones.