2. The Cowboys need a new kicker.
It was frustrating to see Tanner Brown‘s two missed field goals with the game’s final scoring margin (three points), but the senior from Saugus, Calif. is far from the only culprit from OSU’s loss on Saturday.
Brown missed a 50-yard field goal early in the second quarter that would have given OSU a 10-0 lead. His second one was tough to stomach, as the 32-yard try would given OSU a 17-14 advantage right after Iowa State had tied the game at 14-14 midway through the third quarter. The Cyclones responded by marching right back down the field to kick a field goal of their own, making it to go ahead by three points heading into the fourth quarter.
However, OSU fans shouldn’t forget that Brown was the hero in the Pokes’ 32-24 triumph in Austin in Week 7. The UNLV transfer was four-for-four on field goal attempts against the Longhorns, which gave the Cowboys their sixth win in their previous seven trips to Austin. Mike Gundy and Cowboys fans should be willing to forgive and forget with Brown’s misses in Ames.
Brown, who saw his first action in the home win against Baylor, is now 5-of-7 on field goals for the season and is perfect on extra points.
OSU also was called for seven penalties for 72 yards. Whether it was an offsides call or holding while Sanders was under pressure, the Cowboys made several key mistakes with the game on the line. They escaped with close wins on the road against Boise State and Texas earlier in the season but were not so fortunate last weekend in Ames.
Simply put, Iowa State’s experience on offense, its playmaking on defense, and its overall home-field advantage were tough obstacles to overcome, even if one or two of these field goals were made.