Yes — An ugly loss to start the season doesn’t have to define the Cyclones

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Hear me out.

Yes, Iowa State gave up two touchdowns on special teams. No, quarterback Brock Purdy did not play particularly well. The tackling by the Cyclone defense was at times, to put it lightly, quite poor.

The entire performance from Iowa State to open its 2020 season could most accurately be described as sloppy.

But is that really unexpected?

Over the last several years Iowa State has not performed well in season openers. And the past offseason has had unprecedented challenges. Schedules shifted, protocols changed, and for large parts of the summer the team likely wasn’t even sure it was going to take the field this fall.

Starting the season off smoothly was probably wishful thinking.

The team’s 31-14 loss at home to Louisiana is bad. It’s an embarrassing start to the season. But it does not mean the season is over.

I’m not saying Iowa State is the sleeper to win the Big 12, or to make national headlines, that some thought it was. I think the conference is still Oklahoma’s to lose, and I’d place considerable bets that the team isn’t in the College Football Playoff consideration at the end of the season. But I do think the Cyclones are a much better team than their performance on Saturday would indicate.

While he takes his fair share of jabs from Hawkeye fans, Purdy is one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12. His poor performances against the Ragin’ Cajuns was full of inaccurate passes and questionable decision-making. That performance doesn’t have to linger, though.

The Cyclones have a nine-game conference schedule ahead of them (at least as of now). There are still plenty of opportunities to prove what the team can do.

Iowa State definitely can bounce back from its ugly loss. Will it? That remains to be seen.


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