A lot has been going through my mind since the game ended. Just 4 hours of going through things in my head, eating dinner with some friends up in Ames after the game, and I'll tell you what. I had a blast at the game today! I had an epic tailgate in Lot 85 with some good friends, and it was a heck of a ball game!
I've debated this with some people, but I liked the call by Rhoads to go for the win. Yes, it's a bit dicey, but there's been times when doing a fake punt, or a surprise onside kick have helped the team. When the other team is better than you on paper, I think you have to go for the win. You don't have a lot of situations where you just a few yards away from winning the game. I feel like if the players execute, Franklin catches the ball and I'm out on Welch Ave partying instead of sitting at home, writing about this.
Football coaches tend to be on the more conservative side. It was clear that the Huskers were playing not-to-lose, vs. playing to win. They were hiding behind their QB, punting on 4th and shorts even though they were ripping off nearly 5 yards a carry, and played for OT instead of trying to win the game at the end. All around they were very conservative, and I liked Iowa State trying to take advantage of it, rolling the dice a bit, and trying to win. I've researched game theory a little bit, and am by no means an expert at it, but in the long run it helps to be calculated by aggressive than to be passive. It didn't work out for the Cyclones this week, but I think it's the first or maybe second special teams fake that hasn't worked. Nobody complains when the punter runs for a huge gain, or when we recover a surprise onside kick. Nobody should complain with the coach wanting to be aggressive and trying to win a game, that nobody gave Iowa State a chance to be in.
It's things like this that make college football a little more interesting than the NFL. In a situation where you're sitting in OT, and you have the holder (who's a punter) try to make a pass to win the game, there had to be nerves. It's understandable. In the NFL, I'm not saying there aren't nerves, but the guys are pros. In college, you put a kid in a big spot, anything can happen. It's more emotional and more mental, and it makes it interesting to watch.
But I don't think any Cyclone fan should be down about this game. If I were to tell you before kickoff that we'd outgain the Huskers and commit less penalties than them, would you have taken in? How about when we were down 14 in the 4th quarter, and somebody said we'd make it to OT? Would you have taken that? I know I would.
I had a great day, and it was a great game. There can be great games where you team loses. The only thing I'm down about, is now when we have a series that is interesting, it's just cut off, over, done. I already did my Nebraska love fest a couple posts ago, but it really is too bad. There is always a little something extra in the atmosphere, and the 5 times I've been in Ames when Nebraska has come to town have all been fun weekends.
Looking ahead, I'm excited about the CU game, as Iowa State tries to get bowl eligible in Boulder. I will be in attendance in that game, and will put up some kind of a trip report.