The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

October 14, 2013

Frustrating losses leave Cyclones searching

(Continued)

While the defense is creating turnovers, players have let potential interceptions slip through their hands and they haven't come up with enough third-down stops to get off the field. Texas Tech amassed 36 first downs and its six scoring drives ranged from 69 to 86 yards.

When the defense has gotten stops, the offense often has faltered. The Cyclones forced Tech to punt on four of its first five second-half possessions, but the offense went three-and-out after each punt, managing a grand total of 4 yards.

"That's one of those key pieces," Rhoads said. "When you look at some of those other statistics, this team's right there. It's maybe not reflective in their 1-4 record. But unless you finish one of those drives and catch a little momentum and catch a lead -- which we're having a hard time doing -- that won-loss column is not going to change."

The Cyclones also aren't making their own breaks.

Much has been said about the no-call on an apparent Texas fumble at the goal line just before the Longhorns scored the winning touchdown in beating the Cyclones 31-30. But minutes before that play, Iowa State had second-and-1 at the Texas 4 and ended up settling for a field goal when a touchdown probably would have sealed a victory.

Last Saturday, Iowa State's Deon Broomfield was in perfect position to recover an onside kick with under 2 minutes to play and the Cyclones down seven. But he couldn't grab the ball, Tech recovered and ran out the clock.

"When opportunities present themselves, we have to take them," Woody said. "This team can still do what we initially set out to do. The only thing that's standing in our way right now is us. We're getting smarter, we're getting more technically sound from week to week. It's not a thing that we're not able to compete. We just need to close the deal and fix those minor errors to get us over the hump."

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