Iowa State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Iowa State Cyclones
Big 12


Iowa State is not a good football team. They beat Iowa 9 to 6. To be clear, they are not particularly bad either. They are, without argument, average, which is where bowl eligibility leads us nowadays. They beat some okay teams (TCU on the road, Baylor at home); they lost to lots of good teams (okay, ALL the good teams they played). In general, they beat who they should have beaten and lost to everyone better than them; the Cyclones are destined for one of the minor bowls.

2012 Record: 6-6, 3-6
Coach: Paul Rhoads
Coach Bowl Record: 1-1

Big Wins: 10/6 at TCU (37-23), 10/27 Baylor (35-21)
Bad Losses: 9/29 Texas Tech (13-24), 11/23 West Virginia (24-31)

For a group of players not particularly good at anything, it seems counterproductive to search for their strengths. And yet, here we are. Iowa State, by beating the teams they should have and losing to everyone else, remained near the middle of the conference in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and were actually pretty good in scoring defense. Albeit in losing efforts, they held Texas Tech to 24 points and Kansas State to 27 points. They only allowed 21 to Baylor in their week eight win. Iowa State also had good showings in the punt game. They averaged over 40 net yards per punt on the season, good for the upper echelon of college football. Teamed with good punt return averages, the Cyclones were one of the better overall punt units in all the land. The offensive line and athleticism of their quarterback also helped limit sacks this season, extending drives and allowing ISU to tally more yardage and points they would have otherwise. It remains to be seen whether anyone can considered a 6-6 season and a bowl berth a success, even at Iowa State. But the bar has been lowered so much with the influx of bowl hosts that coaches can pad their resumes with bowl numbers and no one is the wiser.

Not much is discovered about a team from a 3-0 start when the opponents were Tulsa, Iowa and Western Illinois. Other than a couple good games and being allowed to play Kansas, Iowa State was soundly beaten all year long after the hot start. They struggled to score points and had no reliable running backs. Quarterback Steele Jantz could move around in the pocket a bit but led nothing resembling a formidable air attack. The Cyclones ranked near the very bottom of the conference in total offense and probably would have finished dead last in scoring if the Kansas game was somehow canceled. On defense, things were a little sunnier, but not much. The front seven struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks or make tackles in the backfield to flip field position. In common bend but don’t break fashion, ISU routinely gave up large swaths of yardage each game but not too many points. This would have been a serviceable combination in the Big 12 if the offense wasn’t so anemic. Paired with a poor kickoff return game and a nearly even turnover differential, Iowa State excelled in very little that would have given them an edge over any reasonably talented opponent they faced. 6-6 is what it is.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Shontrelle Johnson, RB, 504 yards
Passing: Steele Jantz, QB, 1,562 yards
Receiving: Josh Lenz, WR, 430 yards
Tackles: A.J. Klein, LB, 84
Sacks: Roosevelt Maggitt, DE, 2.5
Interceptions: Durrell Givens, S, 3; Jacques Washington, S, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 154.42 (70th in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 217.75 (81, 8)
Total Offense: 372.17 (89, 9)
Scoring Offense: 25.17 (84, 9)
Rushing Defense: 165.17 (70, 5)
Pass Defense: 279.67 (110, 7)
Total Defense: 444.83 (97, 7)
Scoring Defense: 23.33 (36, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.17 (53, 6)
Sacks: 1.25 (106, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.17 (20, 4)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Pinstripe Bowl    Rutgers (13-27)
2009    Insight Bowl        Minnesota (14-13)
2005    Houston Bowl        TCU (24-27)
2004    Independence Bowl    Miami (OH) 17-13)
2002    Humanitarian Bowl    Boise State (16-34)

*all team stats through 11/24


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