Coming off of a 71-7 loss to the No. 8 Baylor Bears, it doesn’t seem like Iowa State has much to hang its hat on. It’s typically pretty hard to point to any positives when a football team gets off to a 1-5 start.
And yet, the Cyclones, while being disappointed that they’re 1-5, should recognize that they’re a better team than their record reflects. Let’s take a look at some numbers.
Before the Baylor game, Iowa State had not lost a game by more than a single possession (8 points). In fact, they had lost by an average of 5.5 points per game before getting annihilated by the Bears. Let’s face it, other than Kansas State, everyone gets annihilated by Baylor. That’s not a testament to how bad Iowa State is but rather to how good Baylor is.
Sure, Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa; that’s a bad loss, but they played an incredibly close game against No. 10 Texas Tech before losing 42-35.
And then, there was also the Texas game, a 31-30 loss for the Cyclones that ended in a roar of controversy. Frankly, after watching the end of that game several times, I strongly believe Iowa State should be sitting at 2-4 right now, with all other things remaining the same.
Granted, if they win that game against Texas, who knows what kind of momentum that gives the Cyclones. After all, they’re a pretty young team when you look at skill position players.
Starting quarterback Sam Richardson is just a sophomore, and his backup (and possible starter this Saturday against Oklahoma State) Grant Rohach is a freshman.
Leading receiver Quenton Bundrage is also just a sophomore, as is fellow receiver Tad Ecby.
Junior running back Aaron Wemberley is having a good season as well, averaging close to five yards per carry.
This team has some talent, and they just need some confidence. If the Cyclones can beat Oklahoma State this weekend, or pick up a win or two in conference down the road (possibly against Kansas and TCU), that could build some confidence moving into 2014.