Iowa State plays Louisiana on Saturday in a college football season opener unlike another in school history. After a half-year of our daily lives was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, we have college football … but it looks and feels like never before.
There’s no fans, beyond parents and family of players, at Jack Trice Stadium today. The Register’s Randy Peterson and Matthew Bain, along with Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune, will provide analysis and updates here throughout the game.
1:37 p.m. Iowa State special teams lets the team down again — 84-yard punt return for Louisiana and it’s now 24-14 Ragin Cajuns with 13:58 left in the fourth quarter. To recap: two long returns for LA for touchdown
1:26 p.m.: Touchdown Ragin’ Cajuns. Levi Lewis tosses it 78 yards to Peter LeBlanc to give Louisiana a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter. Going to be a tense fourth quarter in Ames. — TH
1:24 p.m.: Brock Purdy simply has not been very good today. Right after throwing an interception deep in his own territory, he takes a sack on third down. He’s 11-22 for 110 yards thus far. — TH
1:19 p.m.: Cyclones catch a break courtesy of their defense and Louisiana’s kicker. Cyclones force a field goal attempt after the interception and Nate Snyder missed a 30-yard field – his second miss of the day. — TH
1:16 p.m.: Things just took a turn for the worst for Iowa State, with Brock Purdy getting burned for once again throwing into tight coverage – this time resulting in an interception inside the Cyclones’ 20-yard line. Louisiana is knocking on the door. — TH
1:05 p.m.: Mark down that third-and-5 pass to Chase Allen without a pass interference flag if this game is tight in the final minutes. It was absolutely a flag, both at real speed to my eye and on slow-mo. ESPN officiating analyst Matt Austin (formerly an SEC referee) also agreed. — DL
1:03 p.m.: The second half brings more of the same for the Iowa State offense. A penalty, some bad reads by Purdy and a turnover on downs. The Cyclones’ defense is probably good enough to win this game itself, but it’s going to be tight unless the offense starts going. — TH
12:35 p.m. Weird ending to the first half… illegal forward pass on Louisiana, intentional grounding on Cajuns on same play. Meanwhile, JaQuan Bailey picked up ball and ran about 90 yards into the end zone. Officials review play for potential QB muff. That was over-ruled. So after all that, Louisiana kicks a 30-yard FG on the final play of the half. ISU leads 14-10. Weirdness on a weird day. — RP
12:20 p.m. Breece Hall caps a nice ISU drive with a speedy run around right end for an Iowa State touchdown. It’s 14-7 Cy with 1:17 until halftime. Hall has 84 yards on a dozen carries. He’s picking up where he left off last season. — RP
12:16 p.m.: The Cyclones’ offensive line depth is about to be tested – right guard Trevor Downing just left the game with what looks to be a potential ankle injury. Noah Juergensen, a fifth-year senior from Churdan, was his replacement. On Juergensen’s first snap, he was flagged for holding. — TH
12:07 p.m.: Iowa State’s lead was short-lived – 14 seconds. After going up 7-0, Iowa State ceded a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown to Louisiana’s Chris Smith, who found a seam in the middle of the return and then bounced out to the sideline, winning the race to the end zone. We’re tied at 7 with 4:14 left before half. — TH
12:02 p.m.: POINTS! They are possible. A Kene Nwangwu 1-yard touchdown run does the job. Score: Iowa State 7, Louisiana 0, 4:28 to play, second quarter. — DL
11:50 a.m.: The sloppiness continues for Iowa State, with Xavier Hutchinson and Sean Shaw both dropping passes to kill another drive. Kene Nwangwu took over at running back for the drive after Breece Hall’s fumble on the previous possession. The Cyclones don’t have much rhythm and the execution really just isn’t there. Probably not surprising given the circumstances, but something they’ll need to clean up. — TH
11:45 a.m. Some of us have been trying to tell Matt Campbell since he arrived, that a quarterback sneak just might work sometime. Well, it worked on Cy’s fourth-and-one from their 47 in the second quarter. — RP
11:39 a.m.: Iowa State’s defense, thus far, stars transfer Latrell Bankston. He’s got three tackles, a sack and a TFL. He’s playing very well in his debut. As for the offense — that’s an inconsistent story right now. — RP
11:35 a.m.: third-and-14 and Louisiana runs an inside draw? Sure. Fourth and whatever remained, and Louisiana missed a field goal. Breece Hall fumbled turned into no Rajin Cajun points. — RP
11:27 a.m. : Mildly surprising Iowa State’s offense is doing next to nothing, while the Cyclones’ defense is playing very well early in this game. The « D » is playing very well against an offense that should be very good. — RP
11:24 a.m.: Sloppy, sloppy start for the Iowa State offense. Brock Purdy missed a couple of easy throws on the first drive, whcih ended with a punt from Louisiana’s 42-yard line, and then Breece Hall fumbles the ball away near midfield on the second drive.
11:15 a.m.: A fast-moving first quarter saw a pair of opening punts. Iowa State pinned Louisiana inside its own 15 after a 29-yard pooch punt from Joe Rivera.
The ESPN broadcast is showing a little bit of the awkwardness we’re all feeling in this unique season. The game is in Ames. Play-by-play broadcaster Tom Hart is in Atlanta. Analyst Mike Golic Sr. is at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. There are little delays and hiccups in the commentary, but nothing egregious. It’s a strain on everyone. — DL
10:53 a.m.: A little eyebrow-raising news from the « College Gameday » front. The ESPN flagship show saw panel member Desmond Howard eyeing Louisiana as his « Superdog » of the week, taking the Ragin’ Cajuns as an 11-point underdog. But he didn’t have them triumphing outright. NBA star Chris Paul, the guest picker for the opening Gameday show of the year, went with the big upset. Everyone else? All chalk. — Danny Lawhon
10:39 a.m.: The starting offensive line for Iowa State looks to be Sean Foster (LT), Trevor Downing (LG), Colin Newell (C), Derek Schweiger (RG) and Joey Ramos (RT). Wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the other contenders see snaps today, though. Hunter Dekkers took snaps with the second offense, signaling he won the battle for QB2 with fellow true freshman Aidan Bouman. — Travis Hines
10:16 a.m.: Iowa State All-American tight end Charlie Kolar is out for Saturday’s game with a lower body injury. Receiver Darren Wilson also isn’t playing Saturday. We don’t yet know the reason. — Randy Peterson
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