So, Cyclone fans, how does the 41-36 loss to No. 16 Kansas make you feel about how the rest of the season will play out?
Optimistic that three more wins — and bowl eligibility — still are out there? Or wondering if this team will ever win a close game?
There’s reasons to feel both ways, depending on which side of the ball you’re talking about:
— Alexander Robinson is a flat-out gamer who isn’t lightning fast or especially powerful, but he just churns out yards and touchdowns every time he’s on the field. Injured or healthy, it doesn’t matter.
— Austen Arnaud finally looked like the quarterback we saw much of last year. He threw some great balls and continued to run with authority.
— Jake Williams (seven), Darius Darks (five) and Derrick Catlett (five) each had season-high reception totals. That’s especially noteworthy for Darks, who’d caught just two passes all season coming into the game. He needs to get the ball in his hands that many times, if not more.
— Where is the pass rush? And on the rare occasion when a linemen gets close to the quarterback, the defender can’t grab a hold of him.
— Not sure if the secondary has gotten any better than last year’s debacle. Kansas’ passing game is awfully good, but the Cyclones had no answer defensively. How many passes does Kerry Meier have to catch before you cover him in the end zone on the game’s decisive drive?
— Grant Mahoney is strong-minded, confident and will recover from the yips that have plagued him the last two weeks. Iowa State has had kicker problems in years past, but Mahoney is different.