AMES – Towards the end of the third quarter, the state of Iowa needed points.
The Cyclones stagnated in a scoreless first quarter and managed just one field goal in the second. They were 7-3 behind Texas Tech and needed points before the fourth quarter approached.
With 5:41 to go, Iowa State was slowly working its way down the field. A 15-yard completion against running back Eli Sanders helped the Cyclones reach Texas Tech’s 10-yard line, which provided an opportunity to turn the momentum of the game.
But in four descents, the state of Iowa fell flat.
“You’re down there, I think at that point we’re right there,” head coach Matt Campbell said.
Iowa State made it to the two-yard line before two back-to-back games were stuffed and the Cyclones were left empty-handed.
Iowa State kept falling behind in its 14-10 loss to Texas Tech. The Cyclones had success moving the ball and passing the Red Raiders by 176 yards, but Iowa State failed to capitalize in the red zone.
“It’s frustrating, you know, I think the inconsistency that I’ve talked about on a number of occasions is more in the end,” Campbell said.
The offensive stuttered early and failed to score in the first quarter. A spark in the running game and a handful of clutch catches from wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson helped position Iowa State to score, but nothing materialized.
Twice the unit made their way to the goal line, but failed on the fourth down. An inability to capitalize at critical moments cost the state of Iowa another low-scoring loss.
“I thought those were good play calls. Really, man, there was a lack of execution and why that happened I don’t know,” Campbell said.
The state of Iowa reached the red zone five times but only capitalized once. But when tight end Easton Dean destroyed the plane after rolling over a defender, the Cyclones found some life.
“It was a cool moment, you know, but I just caught the ball and had to somehow get into the end zone and affect the game,” Dean said.
Despite the weak game, the touchdown seemed to indicate 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.
“Man, we had an opportunity to kind of put the game down and man, we let it slide,” Campbell said.
On his final drive, Iowa State worked its way into midfield before a length loss and costly penalties put the end zone out of reach. A punt in less than three minutes sealed the Cyclones’ fate and left the team empty-handed as the clock hit zero.