“I could have broken my first return back, but (TCU) did a good job wrapping up my legs,” Nealy said after providing Iowa State with its second kickoff return for a score this season, the first time in over 40 years that has happened for a Cyclone football team. “I knew they were going to go for the legs again, so I knew I had to pick them up and down to get to the end zone.”
Iowa State kept the momentum going late in the third quarter. The Cyclones used pass plays to Dondre Daley, E.J. Bibbs and Justin Coleman from quarterback Grant Rohach to spark a 15-play, 64-yard drive that ended with Netten’s kick with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
“We really needed that touchdown at that point. That really made a big difference,” Nealy said. “When I got back to the sidelines, you could tell it got everyone pumped up.”
Iowa State could not get the offense cranked up again, however. The Cyclones got one first down after George’s interception, causing TCU to use one of its three timeouts, but an incomplete pass on third down to stop the clock and 17-yard punt by Van Der Kamp gave TCU the ball on its own 42 with still 2:34 and two timeouts left needing just a field goal to force overtime.
The Horned Frogs forced ISU to use up two timeouts after getting inside the Cyclone 5-yard-line with seconds remaining. Boykins just crossed the goal line from a yard out on a quarterback sneak to give TCU the lead. Iowa State got to the Horned Frogs’ 45 before an attempted hook-and-ladder pass with two throwback passes sailed out of bounds as time expired.
“I’ve had this feeling after the Texas game, after the Texas Tech game,” George said of the close loss. “It’s like someone knocked the wind out of you and you have catch your breath before the next play. You just have to overcome it.”