Iowa State began the first half picking up yards at will. The Cyclones picked up gains of 12, 7, and 11 to begin the game. However, as we’ve seen all season, the team stiffened up inside the 35-yard line and when Iowa State went for it on fourth down, Ty Zimmerman laid a huge hit on quarterback Sam Richardson, knocking him back in the open field and forcing a turnover on downs.
When K-State got the ball back, the Wildcats essentially did whatever they wanted to with the ball. Jake Waters started the game with a 21-yard pass to Tyler Lockett, followed by a Waters designed run for 18 yards (he ran in the open field and was eventually tackled without fumbling the ball. It was a thing of beauty). Lockett had another catch, Waters another run, and on the 7th play of the drive John Hubert reversed course and caught the edge on a nine yard dash to the end zone as K-State went up 7-0.
Iowa State’s second drive featured two great plays by Kip Daily – the first a tackle for loss on what looked like it was supposed to be a screen, and the second when a tight end jumped to catch the ball, and Daily pulled him out of bounds in the air to make the pass incomplete. Another incomplete pass on third down, and K-State forced a three-and-out.
John Hubert ripped off a 54-yard run to start the second drive, K-State wasn’t able to do anything else and was held to a field goal. However, Jack Cantele kicked a career long 44-yarder that could have gone another ten yards to put up K-State 10-0.
An unmemorable Iowa State drive (well, except for Blake Slaughter getting into the backfield on 3rd-and-short to earn a tackle for a loss) gave K-State the ball again. Tyler Lockett was held his entire route on a play the announcers openly mocked on third down, and Cantele attempted to up his career long with a 51-yard try. However, he appeared to connect oddly with the ball and it landed on the ‘T’ in the end zone, well short of its intended target.
Starting the second quarter, Iowa State was once again forced to punt after Ryan Mueller batted down yet another pass this season on third down. The next Cyclone possession started at the Iowa State 38 after K-State’s punt hit a Wildcat defender, but Ty Zimmerman came up with an interception to get the ball back to the Wildcats. Unfortunately, a holding penalty by Cornelius Lucas on the first play of the drive led to a three-and-out and Iowa State ball.
With eight minutes left Iowa State’s Richardson came out of the game, having taken several big hits after already being injured. Redshirt freshman Grant Rohach moved the ball for the first time since the game’s first drive. Yet a 46-yard field goal was hooked left to keep the shut out going.
Daniel Sams was featured for the first time in the game with three minutes left in the half, and his second play was a 15-yard rush. Sams started the drive with 19 yards rushing on three attempts and was part of a play that you’ll be seeing on SportsCenter. After twisting out of a sack and outrunning defenders to the sidelines, he overthrew Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson’s defenders (about five yards behind Lockett) dove for the bad pass. However, Thompson dove too, caught a ball bouncing off the defender, and came up with a catch that looked like a three-ring circus stunt for 16 yards to the 22-yard line. Sams finished the 71 yard, 12 play drive with a one yard touchdown and put K-State up 17-0. Iowa State received the ball with less than a minute left and no time outs, using two plays to finish the half and sending the Wildcats into the locker room with a big halftime lead.