Offensive outburst started with Arnaud’s toughness

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Iowa State had never scored more points in a Big 12 game.

In fact, the last time the Cyclones tallied more points in a league football game was against Kansas State in 1972. That was so long ago, the Wildcats were still being called Kansas State and the conference was the Big 8. That K-State club surrendered point totals of 56, 52, 45 and 59, so the outburst by the Cyclones wasn’t out of the ordinary.

The Cyclones’ 52-38 win Saturday night came against a different outfit. Red Raider coach Tommy Tuberville has a reputation for coaching excellent defenses. Three of his former coordinators – Paul Rhoads, Gene Chizik and Will Muschamp – are either leading their own programs or will in the future. Tuberville coordinated defenses at Miami when the Hurricanes were national title contenders yearly.

Tuberville’s first TT team had allowed only 22.7 points per game entering Saturday. Iowa State, in its four prior games, had averaged 20 ppg against Iowa (2nd nationally in scoring defense), K-State (39th), Northern Illinois (50th) and UNI (14th in FCS). What happened?

According to Rhoads, the Cyclones’ passing game opened up running lanes. The benefactors were 100-yard rushers Alexander Robinson and Shontrelle Johnson. The offense also had several short fields to work with. Iowa State won some ball battles with defensive backs (think TDs by Collin Franklin, Darius Reynolds and Josh Lenz along with others throughout the game).

Lastly and most importantly, was Austen Arnaud’s perseverance. Fighting a sore shoulder and much public scrutiny, the senior completed 20-28 passes and tossed four TDs.

“He’s (Arnaud) a courageous player who kept stepping up and delivering,” Rhoads said. “I think he (performed with the understanding of) the faith that this football team and coaching staff has in him.”

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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