Here’s a little secret about the 2014 Iowa State football team.
It is winning one phase of the game every week and doing so in a pretty dominating fashion.
Special teams. Kicking, covering kicks and returning kicks.
The Cyclones rank in the Top 15 nationally in four different measures: punt returns (2nd), kickoff return defense (7th), punt return defense (10th) and net punting (12th).
Iowa State leads the Big 12 in four team statistical categories and they’re all on specialty units: punt returns, punting, field goal percentage (tied) and extra point percentage (tied).
- If Jarvis West had enough attempts to qualify (he has four), he would be No. 2 in the NCAA in punt return average (29.2), and he has an 82-yard TD to his credit.
- Freshman punter Colin Downing and his unit’s coverage team has surrendered just eight punt return yards all season.
- Cole Netten is perfect on both FGs and PATs and he made a game-winning 42-yard field goal with two seconds left at Iowa.
Winning two of the three phases in any football game is a good predictor for a victory.
If the Cyclones can continue the positive trend it has exhibited on special teams through four games, it should only take one more phase to push the Cyclones past the finish line.