Iowa State Suffers Shocking Upset Loss to ULL

Find out why bettors shouldn't shy away from Iowa

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Quick-Hitters

  • The Iowa State Cyclones were defeated by the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns 31-14 on Saturday.

  • Even with Breece Hall rushing for over 100 yards, the Iowa offense stalled in the second-half.

  • Some wild special teams plays and ridiculously long scores helped sway the outcome of this contest.

  • Despite this crazy letdown, find out why bettors shouldn't shy away from Iowa moving forward.

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Iowa's Letdown

Quite simply, Iowa State’s special teams let the team down. After the Cyclones took a 7-0 lead late in the second quarter, ULL’s Chris Smith took the ensuing kickoff back 95 yards to tie the game. Early in the fourth quarter, the Ragin’ Cajuns scored another special teams touchdown on an 83-yard punt return by Eric Garror. In between, the typically stout ISU defense gave up a 78-yard touchdown pass from Louisiana quarterback Levi Lewis on a one-play drive. The Ragin’ Cajuns later added a garbage-time touchdown with 10 seconds left to seal the 31-14 win, making the final score look worse than it actually was.

Of course, the Iowa State offense deserves some of the blame along with special teams. The Cyclones were shut out in the second-half, failing to make halftime adjustments or overpower a team from the Sun Belt. Heisman dark horse Brock Purdy played one of the worst games of his career, completing just 16-of-35 passes for 145 yards and an interception. Even with Breece Hall rushing for over 100 yards, the ISU offense fell out of sync in the second-half, opening the door for Louisiana, which made one big play in the passing game and two big plays on special teams to secure the upset.

Looking Ahead

The good news is that the Cyclones have two weeks of practice to fix their issues before playing TCU on September 26th. The bad news is that they have two weeks to think about such a disappointing loss. The other piece of bad news is that TCU’s season-opener was postponed, meaning the Horned Frogs will have film to study on Iowa State while the Cyclones will have to base everything they know about TCU on film from last season.

The silver lining is that TCU enters the season with plenty of question marks in what could be a rebuilding year. The supporting cast for sophomore quarterback Max Duggan is lacking experience while the TCU defense also has some holes to fill from last year’s departures. If the Cyclones don’t let their loss to Louisiana ruin their confidence, they’ll have a chance to bounce back against TCU.

Bettors Shouldn't Flee

Bettors shouldn’t be so quick to bail on Iowa State for the entire season following the loss to Louisiana. It’s worth noting that the Ragin’ Cajuns are a serious threat to win the Sun Belt and few people should've been surprised that they were able to go toe-to-toe with the Cyclones. More importantly, Iowa State’s special teams problems are ones that should have been expected given the adjusted practice schedule teams are experiencing. They're also problems that can be fixed with two weeks off before their next game.

At the end of the day, the Cyclones have a quality defense and one of the Big 12’s best quarterbacks. The loss to Louisiana wasn't ideal, but it’s not a deal-breaker. The Cyclones deserve the benefit of the doubt and at least a couple of games to redeem themselves before jumping off the bandwagon.

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