Texas head coach Tom Herman made a questionable decision to not take an easy field goal late in his team’s game against Iowa State on Friday, and it proved to be costly.
The Longhorns were leading 20-16 midway through the fourth quarter when their drive stalled at the Iowa State 13-yard line. Rather than kicking a field goal to give his team a 23-16 lead, Herman opted to go for it on 4th-and-2. Texas was stuffed and turned the ball over on downs.
Herman’s call initially didn’t appear to hurt Texas, as their defense forced a punt on the ensuing drive. However, Texas then went three-and-out and punted it back to Iowa State. The Cyclones scored a touchdown on that drive to take a 23-20 lead with just 1:44 remaining in the game.
That 1:44 wasn’t enough time for Texas to secure a game-winning field goal. They moved the ball down the field, but quarterback Sam Ehlinger took a bad sack near midfield and turned a reasonable field goal attempt into a 57-yarder, which sailed wide left.
Had Herman taken the three points earlier in the fourth quarter, the worst-case scenario for Texas likely would have been overtime. Going for it on 4th-and-2 doesn’t sound crazy, but the Longhorns would have been in better shape if they took a 23-16 lead at that stage in the game.
Texas had a chance to stay alive for the Big 12 Championship Game with a win, so the loss to No. 13 Iowa State was particularly painful.
All eyes will be on Herman now down the stretch. Texas is 5-3 on the season and 30-18 under Herman overall. The coach has drawn criticism from Texas alumni and fans this year. It would not be a shock if he is fired before the end of the season.
Campbell has an overall record of 26-24 with the Cyclones and has them bowl eligible this season for a third consecutive year. His name was mentioned as part of Florida State’s head coaching search and he was also considered the top choice for Arkansas, but he is clearly happy with where he is at.
Iowa State has been competitive in the Big 12 for several years now, and Campbell deserves a lot of credit for that. He inherited a program that went 8-28 over three seasons before he arrived, and he has managed to completely turn things around. Coaches often use other job openings as an opportunity to seek a raise from their current team, and Campbell is smart to do the same.
College football’s landscape changes virtually every offseason between recruiting and the coaching carousel, and this one was no different. As such, there are a number of programs who haven’t been as successful as they’d have liked who are on the way up now.
Some of these squads put the building blocks in place last season and are looking to take another step forward in 2018. Others have made major coaching changes, and the new hires should propel them forward. Whatever the case, here’s a look at 10 college football teams who will begin the 2018 on the rise.
10) Florida Atlantic
The Owls began their rapid rise in 2017 when they brought Lane Kiffin in as their head coach. He promptly went 11-3 with a bowl win, setting Florida Atlantic up for another potential step forward in 2018. They have a legitimate star in running back Devin Singletary and an early test against Oklahoma. The Owls have real ambitions to at minimum challenge for the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six team.
A controversial replay review went Oklahoma State’s way as they managed to escape Ames with a 49-42 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.
The win left many debating, as a late Cyclone rally fell short thanks to a play in the end zone that could have gone either way — and left Iowa State players and fans feeling bitter.
The Cyclones thought they had a touchdown that, if they converted the extra point, would have tied the game at 49 late in the fourth. However, the call on the field was that Cowboys cornerback A.J. Green came down with the interception, fighting the ball away successfully from Iowa State receiver Marchie Murdock. It was upheld on replay review, giving the Cowboys the ball and allowing them to run out the clock.
There are lots of questions that could be asked of this play. Who had control of the ball first? Who had it when their knee touched the ground? In the end, Oklahoma State — who have been on the wrong end of calls like this before — got the benefit of the doubt. The fact that the ruling on the field went in their favor was key.
Someone had a little fun with the Wikipedia page for Oklahoma’s football team after the Sooners suffered a shocking defeat to Iowa State.
Oklahoma went into Saturday’s game as overwhelming favorites, which was to be expected since they are currently the No. 3 team in the country. However, they won’t retain that ranking when the new poll comes out next week.
Iowa state rallied from a 24-10 deficit on the road to upset Oklahoma 38-31 thanks to a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kempt to Allen Lazard with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. You can see video of the play below.
Upset Alert: Kyle Kempt pass to Allen Lazard for a 25-yard TD. Iowa State is leading Oklahoma 38-31 with 2:19 to play. pic.twitter.com/bl8ojY42o6
Because seemingly every college football program has atleast 37 different uniform combinations, Iowa State announced on Wednesday, via the football team’s Twitter account, they will be sporting all gold against Toledo on Saturday.
If your first thought was they look Ronald McDonald-ish, you aren’t alone. The company for which he’s famously associated with was thinking along the same lines and reached out to the Cyclones to offer their stamp of approval.
Iowa State fell to 1-4 on the season (0-3 in Big 12) after a 37-20 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday. After the game, Cyclones athletic director Jamie Pollard unloaded on the Big 12’s officials for what he feels has been a trend this season of being on the wrong end of controversial calls.
As time in the second quarter of Saturday’s game expired, Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland was ruled down shy of the goal line. This would have ended the first half with the game tied 6-6. The play was reviewed and Roland was awarded the touchdown, giving the Cowboys a 13-6 lead heading into the locker room.
Iowa State was also critical of the conference’s officials last season following a 31-30 loss to Texas. During that game, what looked to be a fumble by Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray was ruled not to be, prompting head coach Paul Rhoads to voice his displeasure.
At this point, it’s probably not a matter of if Iowa State is fined by the Big 12 for today’s comments, but how much will they be sending to the conference. Frustration is clearly high around Ames, Iowa.
On Friday night, Iowa State kicked off an insane weekend of college football with an upset victory over No. 2 Oklahoma State. They would later become the first of three unranked teams to beat a top-5 team. USC upset No. 4 Oregon and Baylor knocked off No. 5 Oklahoma, leaving a rematch between LSU and Alabama a likely scenario for the BCS Championship game.
After friday night’s game, Iowa State was understandably fired up in the locker room. Check out this video of their post-game breakdown which included a phenomenal speech by head coach Paul Rhoads, courtesy of The Wiz of Odds: