Cyclones play with renewed sense of purpose, joy
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
AMES — Iowa State’s offensive strategy this season has been to let quarterback Brock Purdy try to make as many plays as possible.
Purdy showed yet again on Saturday how effective such an approach can be, running and throwing his way past an overwhelmed TCU defense.
Purdy threw for 247 yards and a pair of TDs and Iowa State walloped the Horned Frogs 49-24 for its first Big 12 win of the season. Purdy also ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Cyclones (3-2, 1-1), who beat the Horned Frogs for just the third time in 11 tries.
“I think Brock is really special. I don’t know if I have any different feeling for the words I can use for to describe Brock,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “He’s a guy who gives us an ability (as) a dual threat football player.”
TCU (3-2, 1-1), down 35-10 after three quarters, made things interesting by getting a touchdown run from Darius Anderson and a 22-yard TD grab by Jalen Reagor to make it a 35-24 game with nine minutes left.
But Purdy’s fourth TD of the day, a 9-yard run, put the Cyclones ahead by 18 with 6:27 left. Purdy now has 10 TD passes, five TD runs and just two interceptions — and he finished with at least 300 combined yards for the fourth straight game.
“Honestly I just kept telling the guys to have fun. And that was like the theme going into this game, because we’ve been playing uptight and things like that the past couple of games,” Purdy said. “When they scored and made it close again nothing changed. We decided to just keep having fun.”
Eyioma Uwazurike’s 1-yard scoop and score on a fumble put the Cyclones ahead 14-3 early in the second quarter. Purdy then made it 21-3 on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Kolar, and his 10-yard TD run put Iowa State up 28-3 early in the third quarter.
Freshman Max Duggan got TCU within 28-10 on a short TD pass to Reagor. Iowa State answered by going 75 yards in just five plays, and Johnnie Lang’s 3-yard touchdown run pushed the Cyclones back ahead by 25.
“They kicked our butts,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
Duggan was 17 of 25 passing for 219 yards and two TDs for TCU. But Anderson ran for just 49 yards, snapping his streak of 100-yard games at three.
Iowa State: This was the breakout game the Cyclones were searching for. Iowa State’s offensive line played its best game in recent memory and its defense largely took away Anderson, forcing the Horned Frogs to become one dimensional. “I thought we played in a really good rhythm,” Campbell said. “We were aggressive on both sides of the game early. When things got a little awkward there late in the game and we needed to make a play, we made a play.”
TCU: After a rough start, Duggan settled in and brought the Horned Frogs back into the game — albeit briefly — in his return to his home state. The upcoming bye week should only help Duggan’s progress moving forward.
While Purdy continues to be Iowa State’s best threat running the ball, Johnnie Lang might be inching closer to becoming the Cyclones’ starting running back. Lang had 72 yards on a team-high 16 carries. “I really thought Johnnie Lang played a great game, his best game to date. That’s really exciting. He’s practicing great and he showed it on the football field,” Campbell said.
HE SAID IT
“We say it all the time. You can’t beat yourselves. You’ve got to take ballgames when you’re on the road playing in somebody else’s house,” Patterson said. “We did not do that.”
Iowa State plays at West Virginia on Oct. 12
TCU has a bye next week. The Horned Frogs play at Kansas State on Oct. 19