Iowa State got their first Big 12 Conference win Saturday in a wild 52-38 game with Texas Tech in Ames. The Cyclones pulled out to a 24-0 lead, saw Texas Tech tie it up, then broke the tie and never let Tech take the lead. I.S.U. Coach Paul Rhoads said he could tell at the team meal that his players were ready and they showed it on the field.
Rhoads says everyting started with being ready to play and practicing with conviction, and that’s what they did. He says they were able to put 52 points on the board because they were able to do some things and had short fields to work with, which he says they haven’t had that much this year. I.S.U. bolted to the early 24-0 lead, then the Red Raiders scored 17 quick points to make it a seven point game at halftime.
Rhoads says he told his team something at halftime that he doesn’t like to tell players –relax. Rhoads says the team was nervous about the points they gave up and he told them Tech might score again to start the half, but they have to settle down and keep progressing and moving on, and he says that’s what they did. The Cyclones returned an onside kick for a touchdown and also got an interception on defense to seal the win.
Rhoads got the big plays he had been looking for out of his offense, and that included Running backs Alexander Robinson and Shontre Johnson both went over 100 yards rushing and each had runs of over 60 yards. Jeff Woody also contributed several runs to pick up first downs, and Rhoads says the three give them a lot of options.
Rhoad says they all bring a little something different to the team, with Robinson the “steady veteran”, Johnson is the “young blood” who is learning, and Woody is “the hammer.” Robinson played with an injured ankle and says the team knew it couldn’t let up when Texas Tech came back to tie up the game.
Robison says they knew they would have to keep fighting and they knew Texas Tech would make a comeback. Robinson says they were ready for the game and says that’s why coach Rhoads was confident about how they would play. Robinson says Rhoads could tell by the week of practice they had and it made them confident coming into the game. Iowa State moves to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in the Big 12. The play a nonconference game this Saturday at home against Utah.