Final scores can be misleading

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The only statistic that really matters is final score. Texas 37, Iowa State 14.

But, this one felt different.

In seven prior meetings as Big 12 rivals, Texas outgained ISU by an average of 162 yards per game. Iowa State had never been within 100 yards of the Longhorns’ total offense figure.

In this year’s game, the Cyclones were outgained by 20 yards. Iowa State’s 380 total yards of offense was it second-most in the series. Texas’ 400 total yards was its second-lowest since the schools started meeting as league partners.

One play epitomized the balance. On its first offensive possession, Texas lined up to try and fourth-and-one from the ISU 11-yard line. They’d always gotten these conversions in the past, so why not go again. But, Jacques Washington stopped the runner for no gain.

That was the kind of night it could have been. But, the Cyclones committed costly turnovers (three in the first quarter) and untimely penalties. That recurring theme must change.

The score at halftime was 34-0 and, as Coach Paul Rhoads told the radio network’s sideline reporter, it could have been worse.

Yes, college football is a bottom line game and the result goes in the right-hand (loss) column. But, errors dictated the game Saturday more than physical dominance.

Errors can be corrected. That’s this week’s focus.

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

 

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