I will do my best not to turn this into a full out rant on Greg Davis and the completely inept offense. But let me make this perfectly clear, this loss lands solely on the shoulders of the offense. The defense played a hell of a game. They forced 4 turnovers, held Iowa State to 9 points, came up time and time again with their backs against the wall to give the offense a chance...only to have the offense let them down. To their credit, they didn't give up. They kept fight until the end, even though they probably knew the offense wasn't going to come through.
Four factors in review
Contain Steele Jantz - For the most part, good job defense. Jantz had only 40 total rushing yards and only picked up one third down with his feet and was stuffed for no-gain or a loss on a couple of others. And though the D didn't come up with a sack, they had 8 TFLs and pressured Jantz into a couple of bad throws.
Vertical Offense - Well, at least they tried...some. Vandenberg took a couple of shots down the field and was mostly unsuccessful. He had 2 picked off, both in hurry-up mode and both trying to be overly aggressive when conservatism might have been the right decision. He was never in-sync with Kevonte Martin-Manley and overthrew a probable TD.
The mid-range pass was a little more present. The best play Iowa ran all day was the classic Ken O'Keefe play-action bootleg where all the receivers flood one side of the field at multiple levels. Of course Vandenberg never threw it to the deepest level, but was at least not throwing it to the guy in the flat.
What was very frustrating though, was the way Iowa failed to attack ISU's cornerbacks when they were in obvious man coverage. In past years, it was almost an automatic check at the line to throw a fade over the man coverage. How many times did we see that last year with Marvin McNutt? Well it was absent Saturday as Iowa State consistently loaded the box and player cover 1 with the receivers out wide in single coverage.
And you can't blame the pass protection this week. It was fantastic. Vandenberg had all day to sit in the pocket to try to find someone open. Iowa didn't give up a sack, and Vandenberg was only even pressured a couple of time.