Ames, Iowa – Attendance 50,532
The Iowa State Cyclones continued to take steps forward with their 31-10 win over the Army Black Knights on Saturday night. Paul Rhoads talked after the game about the team growing up this week and growing up during the game. He was very encouraged by ISU’s effort late in the game this week; after a lackluster performance in the second half against Kent State last week, he was pleased with how the team played four quarters.
Alexander Robinson had his third straight 100 yard performance and scored three touchdowns to lead the Cyclones. Leonard Johnson came up with a big interception late in the third quarter to preserve Iowa State’s 24-10 advantage. Robinson later finished the scoring, hauling in a 33 yard pass from Austen Arnaud on a circle route.
Iowa State – The Good
1. The Running Game – The offensive line continues to do a great job and continues to improve each week. Iowa State rushed for 201 yards on a Black Knight defense that was only surrendering 77 yards a game coming in.
2. Austen Arnaud – Austen continues to improve in Tom Herman’s offense. He wasn’t great, but he was really good. Arnaud threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 62 yards and another score. His best play came on the first drive of the second half when he seemingly carried the entire Army defense into the endzone on a 14 yard run.
3. Wally Burnham drew up a great defensive scheme that put 5 DB’s in the ball game to counter Army’s triple option attack. Army gained 186 yards on the ground, but that is more than 70 yards below their average.
4. Josh Lenz changed the momentum of the game with a 44 yard punt return to Army’s 18 to set up the Cyclones first touchdown with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.
5. Michael Brandtner was absolutely huge again tonight with a 47.2 net on his punts.
6. Grant Mahoney drilled a 50 yard FG to tie things up early
7. No turnovers and only 2 penalties – a huge improvement after two sloppy weeks
8. Explosive plays – ISU had four plays for more than 25 yards (Lenz 44 yard punt return, Robinson 68 yard TD run, Arnaud to Marquis Hamilton for 35 yards and Arnaud to Robinson for 33 yard TD)
9. Christopher Lyle continues to emerge as a playmaker on defense. Lyle had 7 tackles, 1 sack and 2 TFL.
10. The coverage on special teams has been tremendous all year and the same was true tonight. ISU will get tested next week by a Kansas State team that returned two kickoffs for TD’s today.
11. Offensive Rhythm – each week the offense seems to get more and more fluid. The running game is definitely ahead of the passing game at this point, but the guys are looking more and more comfortable in the offense.
12. Play by back ups – Roosevelt Maggitt and Patrick Neal really stepped up with nice games after Rashawn Parker went down with a left knee injury. Also, Jeremiah Schwartz came in and got some tough yards to chew up the clock at the end of the game.
Iowa State – The Bad
1. Injuries – As I mentioned above Parker left the game with a knee injury and he was on crutches on the sideline in the second half. Alexander Robinson strained his groin on the 33 yard TD reception. We can’t afford to lose two of our key leaders on the field.
2. Army controlled the clock as we expected they may – the Black Knights held the ball for 34:37 compared to Iowa State’s 25:23
3. Black Knights were 3-3 on 4th down conversions. ISU had their chances to put this game away early, but couldn’t come up with a key stop.
4. Key wide receivers still aren’t getting the ball enough – Darius Darks 1 reception, Sedrick Johnson and Collin Franklin goose eggs
5. Defense on Ali Villanueva – give Army credit for exploiting a mismatch, but it seems Iowa State could of done something to give Banks some help with three straight fade passes in his direction
6. I am being picky here, but both starting DB’s (Leonard Johnson and Kennard Banks) had chances for a pick six and both had the ball go right through their fingers
Cyclones Top Performers
Alexander Robinson – 21 rushes, 127 yards, 1 TD and 3 receptions, 51 yards, 2 TD
Austen Arnaud – 11-20, 175 yards, 2 TD and 18 rushes, 62 yards, 1 TD
Michael Brandtner – 5 punts, 239 yards (47.8 average) and 4 punts inside 20
Christopher Lyle – 7 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL
Jesse Smith – 13 tackles
Post Game Interviews
Austen Arnaud and Kennard Banks
Video courtesy of Cyclones.com