Iowa State was shut out in the second half, spoiling a big first half comeback, as they lost their Big 12 opener to 20th ranked Kansas State 32-28 at Jack Trice Stadium Saturday.
The Cyclones fell behind by 13 points in the first quarter before rolling off 28 unanswered points to take 28-26 halftime lead.
Kansas State scored two second half touchdowns, the final coming with 1:30 to go to take the lead.
Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads’ team moved the ball to the Wildcat 39 before giving it up on downs.
“You can’t deny that was an exciting college football game. I’m proud of the effort of our kids, everybody associated with the program, fighting from the beginning to end, truly the end in this case,” Rhoads says.
ISU was looking to bounce back after opening the season with a 38-14 loss to North Dakota State. “We made great improvement from week one to week two, in all areas and all aspects of the program,” Rhoads says. “We did certain things necessary to put us in position to win a football game, we did other things not good enough in the end to win the football game. You learn great lessons today, you learn greater lessons tomorrow as you see them first hand and really get taught off of them and that’s what we’ll do.”
While it wasn’t a win, Rhoads says the game had some positives. “I think it shows the progress that we made from week one to week two — which is tremendous progress,” according to Rhoads.
Senior defensive end, Cory Morrissey also says a win was the goal, but they showed something against a ranked conference opponent. “Yeah, it’s a step forward. The team’s here and we’re not backing away from anything and we are ready to go,” Morrissey says. Morrissey says they didn’t do anything different on defense from the first game, other than executing better. “As a team we were just mentally sharper…we know what we’ve have to do to produce, the coaches aren’t out there playing, we are out there playing, we’ve got to make plays,” Morrisssey says.
Highly touted freshman wide receiver Alan Lazard got his first start and caught a touchdown pass at the back of the end zone thrown by fellow receiver Jarvis West on a trick play in the second quarter.
“It was pretty sweet, knowing how long it has been I have been committed here and stuff, watching other people play here, watching my brother play here, having my dad play here. It’s something I’ll hold over my dad because he never scored here. It’s something that I’ll definitely remember,” Lazard says.
Lazard, an Urbandale native, played in the season opener and then moved up to the starting spot after an injury to Quenton Bundrage. He wasn’t nervous about being the starter.
“To be honest I was a lot less nervous just because it wasn’t my first game,” Lazard “I knew what it was like to play in front of the crowd, I got all those first game jitters out of the way. Once that first play got over, I was good.”
Lazard says the team showed something after getting down by 13 early. “We just kept fighting offensively and defensively. We never really gave up, we always kept pushing, knowing that there was time on the clock and there was still hope,” Lazard says.
The loss drops Iowa State to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in the Big 12 Conference. They will go on the road for the first time this season to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday.