The Iowa State Cyclones were supposed to struggle with the North Dakota State Bison. In fact, a loss was always the most likely outcome for the Cyclones considering what the Bison have done to FBS teams in recent years. But on Saturday, the Cyclones became the fifth straight FBS team to fall to the Bison, and they did it in embarrassing fashion.
You couldn’t watch that game and come away with any other conclusion than North Dakota State was simply a much better team than Iowa State. The 34-14 final score didn’t even illustrate just how lopsided this game was.
The Bison outplayed Iowa State in every facet of the game. They nearly doubled-up the Cyclones in total yards, running up 499 total yards compared to only 256 for Iowa State. The Bison averaged more than 7.1 yards per carry on the ground and 7.4 yards per pass. They dominated at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, recording four sacks and giving up only one.
It would have been very easy to dismiss a loss to the Bison, if the Cyclones had been competitive with the three-time defending FCS champs. But considering how bad the loss was, the outlook on Iowa State’s season looks bleak.
On paper, the Cyclones looked like a team that could improve on their 4-8 record from a year ago. Now, four wins almost looks like the ceiling.