Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Iowa State Cyclones 2010 Review

2010 Record: 5-7 (3-5), Tied 3rd Big 12 North
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Results: Northern Illinois, W 27-10, @ Iowa, L 35-7, @ Kansas State, L 27-20, Northern Iowa, W 27-0, Texas Tech, W 52-38, Utah, L 68-27, @ Oklahoma, L 52-0, @ Texas, W 28-21, Kansas, W 28-16, Nebraska, L 31-30, @ Colorado, L 34-14, Missouri, L 14-0


     2010 was a run of rough breaks for the Cyclones. Despite a 2 game stretch where ISU was completely pounded by Utah and Oklahoma, The Cyclones had entered November at 5-4, and they were looking like a squad that would sneak in to at least a lower tier bowl game. Then came the ultimate wreck, and ISU finished the season 0-3 to fall out of any bowl contention at all. Sadly, ISU needed to win at least two of those three, and the Colorado game should have been a lock for them but they fell by 20, lost to Nebraska by 1, and despite only giving up 14 to Missouri, they were shut out. And so it goes.
     The career of Austen Arnaud ended with a relative thud. Arnaud was always waiting to turn the corner that he never reached. Such was the 2010 season for him, as he failed to live up to pre-season expectations once again. He finished by passing for just 1703 yards and 13 TDs along with 10 picks. So much more was hoped for, and even his run skills left everyone wanting, as he only averaged 2.79 yards per carry.
      Alexander Robinson tried to pick up the pace, and had a respectable season, but he too fell short of greatness that fans in Ames had been hoping for. Robinson finished with 946 yards and 9 TDs, which was good, but again fell short of what was wanted and needed for a succesful run.
     When your TE (Collin Franklin) is by far your leading receiver, you probably have a problem, and such was the case. Franklin had a decent season (54-530-3) but never averaged 10 yards per reception, and Jake Williams only caught 35 balls all season. Hardly a winning combo, and both Franklin and Williams will not be back next season.
     The scoring totals tell the tale for everyone, including ISU. IN games that the Cyclones gave up 21 or fewer points, they were 4-1. When they gave up more, 1-6. Simple stat line, and the defense has to bear the responsibility for those losses, even though the offense was not up to par. The Cyclones got thumped for 186 yards per game on the ground in 2010, and that was the tale of the tape.
     There is some seriously young talent returning in 2011 at LB, as sophomores Jake Knott and AJ Klein were tackle machines. Knott collected 130, while Klein rolled up 111. For Knott, 76 of his tackles were solos. David Sims had 96 tackles, but he won't be returning to the secondary in 2011. As good as that trio was in 2010, the team as a whole was not nearly succesful enough up front. Klein led the team with just 8 TFLs on the season, not near enough to strike fear into opponents, and Jacob Lattimer, a junior, only had 4 sacks, which unfortunately led the team. A key to succesful Big 12 teams? Having a defense that can wreck you in the backfield, and ISU is not close to having that.
     The secondary had issues with making plays as well, as Leonard Johnson's 7 pass breakups led the team, and led the secondary by a huge gap. Knott led the team with 4 icks, and he was a LB.. Not encouraging for ISU fans.
     Special teams were anything but. Grant Mahoney was a mess at PK, having missed more kicks than he made in 2010. He went 8 of 17 on FGs on the season. He'll be back, but does ISU want him? A replacement must be found. Freshman Kirby Van Der Kamp was incredible at punter, and you'll find no other young kicker that did what he pulled off. Van Der Kamp averaged 45.17 yards per punt in 2010, which was amazing. He may even get better in 2011 as a sophomore.


Iowa State was so bad for so long, that you have to look at a 5-7 record as having come a long way from where this program even was 15 years ago. Winning is no longer out of the question in Ames, and as long as you never expect the crazy to happen (winning Big 12 titles) then the Cyclones will match your expectations. This seaosn ended with that horribly unfortunate Novemeber run, but they were close. Finsing replacements in offense is a must at every skill position, but addition by subtraction may not be so bad being what ISU had never matched up anyway.

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