More penalties. Seems to be the story of the 3rd quarter. On the kickoff to start the second half, K-State gets nailed with a holding AND an unnecessary roughness call. A nice return is completely negated, resulting in K-state getting the ball starting on its own eight. As long as they can get these penalties out of their system, the team is still winning every facet of this game (in the trenches, total yardage, time of possession, and most importantly, scoreboard).
Klein apparently has spikes on his cleats twice as long as the Iowa State defenders. On a scramble on third down, he zigged and zagged for first down while Cyclones all around him slipped to the ground. There’s also the possibility Collin Klein is magic; indeed these are equally plausible hypotheses.
Around eight minutes left to play, I write down that K-State needs to open up the passing attack. And not just called passes either – I’m talking some real vertical shots down the field. I know the wind is playing a factor here, but ISU is doing a good job bottling up runs, and short passes just aren’t working. Klein is picking up some nice yards on scrambles, and the receiving corps of K-State is good enough to get more action than they’ve received. I will acknowledge that as underrated as Tremaine Thompson, Tyler Lockett, and Ryan Tannehill are, Iowa State’s secondary is just as underrated. Naturally, as I write this, Klein gets sacked on third down.
On the next Wildcat possession, Ryan Doerr finally exhibits some of that talent we saw against Oklahoma, and downs a punt on the one. He also had a punt earlier in the quarter that bounced backward after landing about a yard inside the end zone, but close is not cigar as this scenario is still a touchback.
K-State almost recorded another safety by hitting an Iowa State running at the one and pushing him back into the end zone. If not for forward progress, the game would’ve become 19-14. The defense follows up with a pass batted down and an incomplete pass after forcing Barnett into a pass he didn’t want to throw. Punting out the end zone with the ball on the one yard line, Iowa State shanks the punt, giving K-state the ball on the 30. Hubert then rips off an 11-yard run straight up the middle with a seam my grandmother could’ve exploited, but it’s called back on a holding penalty. Damn penalties.
So how does K-State respond? Collin Klein takes off like he’s going to run, and pops up and dinks a short pass over the middle to Tannehill for 11 yards. Then Hubert runs to the left for 11 takes it to the ISU 12. Another Hubert run for no gain, and an incomplete pass to Harper makes it 3rd and nine. Klein pump fakes, fools all 11 Iowa State defenders, and runs right almost completely untouched for a 12-yard touchdown run. He may very well be magical.
K-State is only averaging 3.9 yards/attempt today. I’ve said it before but this linebacker duo of Iowa State is phenomenal. They have seven penalties for 57 yards, while ISU has eight for 52 yards. Very uncharacteristic of both teams. K-State has held the ball twice as long while recording 100 more yards than Iowa State (294-202), but the score remains a bit close for comfort. We start the drive with Iowa State ball at the K-State 20, 1st down. The Wildcats need to come up with a big stop here to keep Iowa State in their place.