If anyone tells you that they expected this result, they're flat out lying. I spent the day on the golf course, ducking into the pro shop to catch snippets on TV and frantically refreshing the screen on my iPhone. With two minutes left to go my brother texted me and congratulated me on the win. I almost screamed at him that the game wasn't over yet. The Iowa State team that came to play today in Austin was a different team than we've seen in the last two weeks. I'm more proud than ever to be a Cyclone fan, and I can almost taste a bowl game in the future.
So, what about my things to watch from Friday? Let's take a look.
Penetration of the Offensive Line by Texas
The offensive line today was fantastic, particularly Ben Lamaak, they opened holes, gave Austen Arnaud time to throw or scramble away. Iowa State's Offensive Line easily outplayed the Nebraska O-line that Texas dominated last week. This is no small feat and a massive boon to the Iowa State team through the end of the year.
Which Garret Gilbert will come to Play?
The Garret Gilbert that came to play today was worse than the Garret Gilbert that came to play against UCLA, and that's saying something. The bottom line is that Texas lacks leadership on the field, and a mob of talented athletes can be beaten, even if the Texas team as a whole is far more athletic than Iowa State. ISU fans have had their problems with Austen Arnaud, but he's a leader and when he gets the team clicking on the same cylinder, magic happens.
Do the Cyclones Continue to Fight?
Boy, did Paul Rhoads and his team answer this one. Coach Rhoads has said repeatedly and said again this week that he goes into every football game trying to win. Personally, I thought that was more coach-speak, but he proved me wrong. The team dug deep after two losses and said "enough is enough". Arguably this is the biggest win in ISU history, and should give us all hope that the Cyclones can compete in a round robin schedule in the Big 12 next year.
David Ubben said today that Texas was possibly the most schizophrenic team in the Big 12. I see what he means, but Iowa State is right up there. That's the only way you can describe going from a game where no one did anything right (against OU) to doing almost everything right. It's also hard to talk about improvement, because while they obviously improved from last week, did they improve any over their play for the course of the year? For my money I think they have, particularly on the Offensive Line. However, it's time to buckle down and get ready for Kansas coming to Ames next week which is an essential game if ISU wants to go to a bowl game.
I talked about Kirby Van Der Kamp on Friday and boy am I glad he plays for ISU. He's been amazing and I look forward to him playing for the Cyclones for three more years.
Enjoy the win Cyclones fans, but don't forget we have a game against Kansas next week, and we don't want to look past them.