A 3-1 start fueled by resourcefulness

Celebration_uni2011-1

The Cyclone football team has won three of its opening four games and, while doing so, has bucked the odds.

Iowa State currently ranks tied for last among FBS schools with its minus-8 turnover margin. Western Kentucky and East Carolina, two schools with the same margin, have a 1-7 record.

ISU is second-to-last nationally in penalty yards per game. Colorado is the NCAA’s most-penalized team and the Buffaloes are 1-4.

How are the Cyclones winning games?

The offense has been opportunistic in making big plays at critical times, the defense has been especially good when opponents have taken possession in Cyclone territory and there is hidden yardage in the kicking game and it favors Iowa State.

Steele Jantz has registered a number of big passes and big runs at big times during each of the Cyclones’ fourth-quarter comebacks.

ISU opponents have started drives in Cyclone territory 11 times but scored just three TDs (two of those were in overtime decisions vs. Iowa) from that good field position. Opponents are averaging only 3.5 points on those drives which began on ISU’s side of the field.

The punt (Josh Lenz) and kickoff (Shontrelle Johnson) return units each rank second in the Big 12 and punter Kirby Van Der Kamp is fourth in the fourth in his specialty with a 45-yard average.

The 2011 Cyclones need to cut down on the miscues. But, there is something to be said about the club’s resolve and their ability to win games.

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

 

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