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Postgame: Kansas

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It’s been a pretty brutal two weeks for ISU fans, as we’ve experienced some tough losses.  Bill Simmons has a quasi-famous "Levels of Losing" column where he points out the various levels of tough losses.  I would say Kansas falls in at the Princton Principal, or if you took it really hard, the Guillotine.  I would say that the week before was a solid Stomach Punch game.  Really it’s a great article, you should take a look at it.

I’m not a big moral victory guy, but I honestly expected KU to win and cover (two touchdowns or greater) last weekend so the fact that they came out in dominating fashion really got my hopes up before the breakdown in the third quarter.  There were some good things and bad things to be taken away from this one.

The Good:

  • Arnaud started and played the entire game and probably had his best game as a Cyclone.  Put up good numbers and effectively moved the offense.  So far this season his QB rating is a full 40 points higher than the senior Meyer from last year.
  • ISU had a decent pass rush.  Had a few sacks and they weren't all spurred by the blitz.  Hopefully continued development along the line will help them continue to put pressure on the passer.
  • Corners did a great job today and Leonard Johnson is quickly becoming one of my favorite players.  He should honestly be a lock for 1st team All Freshman team.  If he keeps getting INT's he might make Freshman All-American.
  • The receivers did a great job and freshman Darius Darks really came out.  Sedrick Johnson also had some very positive contributions.  I feel a lot better about that unit going into next season with the loss of RJ Sumrall.
  • Grant Mahoney continues to do well.  He's only missed one kick outside of the Iowa game.  I feel great with him back there for the next four seasons.

The Bad:

  • Kerry Meier is good.  ISU made him look like an All-American.  The safeties and linebackers really struggle to cover a good TE and that is something that will be exploited by teams as ISU continues through the season.
  • If this team wants to remain competitive in Big 12 football games it's going to have to develop some kind of rushing attack.  The team struggles to get consistent yardage there and if the QB's weren't mobile ISU would be in a world of hurt right now.
  • ISU needs to learn to close out the close games.  They'll get there but the youth is really holding back some of the athletic potential on this team.

Overall it wasn’t a bad showing by the team even though they lost.  I’m not much for quoting the Zooker but I think he said it well when he said in year one, you lose big.  Year two, you lose small, year three you win small, and year four you win big.  I think they are on track for that with this staff.  I love this staff and I’m extremely confident in the future of the program. 

I’ve been on the record as saying this before but I think 2009 has the potential to be a breakout season.  I expect the team to be undefeated through the nonconference and the schedule is set up so they can be very competitive in conference.  An 8-4 record is attainable and they return a lot of players in 2010.


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