I have no idea when the switch flipped and I started believing in the possibility of Iowa States victory over Texas on Saturday. Before the game I commented how disappointed I would be if we made it through this season without another upset. I wanted to believe what I was writing and felt inclined to do so but admittedly I drank the Koolaid as I was typing. I know my words had no effect whatsoever on the teams performance but I'm guessing my optimism, blind trust, faith, whatever you want to call it was not new to the guys who put on the visitors uniforms that day.
I planned a quiet game day and didn't expect much. I was expecting a loss, hoping for a good showing and praying for a victory.68-27(Utah), 52-0(Oklahoma), there were 120 reasons right there for this team to lay down. But they didn't.
ISU received and went three and out. Visions of beatings past danced through my head. Texas made a first down then ISU stepped up three times and forced a fourth down. I sat up in my chair. Were my eyes deceiving me or did we get into the backfield and force Gilbert to throw early? I started gripping the Lazyboy.
ISU got the ball at the twenty, all positive field position was negated. Eleven plays and eighty yards later Arnaud hits Reynolds on a crossing pattern and ISU is in the end zone. ISU scored and not by way of turnover, fluke punt, awkward penalty or broken play. The offense answered the defenses call and put together a drive that would set the tone for the rest of the game. I stood up and crossed my arms. I looked forward to watching this defense.
The defense did their job but Texas made a magical special teams play and downed the ball inside the five. Arnaud and company couldn't dig out of the hole and Texas received the punt inside ISU territory. On the road, against better athletes, and coming off the losses I was already preparing myself for a quick Texas TD. The defense held them to a field goal. I sat back down. ISU and Texas jockeyed back and forth for a series then ISU played some magic of their own and downed a punt at the Texas 1. Texas would eventually punt and ISU would get the short field.
Clearly things were working for ISU on the defensive side of the ball and it was once again the offenses turn to prove that it was going to hold up it's end of the deal. Alexander Robinson and the O-line made sure that happened. Three short minutes later ISU was again in the end zone and I was dancing around the room. We all know the rest of the story and my mood just kept getting better and better. 28-21 Guess Who Hooked The Horns? Iowa State Is Becoming A Force To Be Reckoned With. These were my favorite headlines from the weekend.
So where do we go from here? Do we manage to win two out of our next four games and go bowling? Do we somehow win three and get to a better bowl? I honestly don't know but I am not going to doubt our ability to win all four. The Kansas game could not come at a better time for us. A nice solid victory over a team trying to redefine its identity will put ISU in a great position.
So where are you going to be this Saturday? There is no Television for the game. Ten bucks will put you on a hillside, a few more will score you some bleacher. I imagine the harvest is mostly over and the game isn't at night. 127 student/athletes just showed you that the season is far from over and Homecoming is a special event in Ames. I hope to see you at the Jack