More insight into ISU’s Insight Bowl experience

TEMPE, Ariz. — Leftovers from the stat sheet and tape recorder that couldn’t make it into the newspaper following Iowa State’s 14-13 victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.

It was the Cyclones’ first victory over the Golden Gophers since 1898. That doesn’t mean a lot since they’ve met just three times since 1924, but it’s a pretty good stat nonetheless.

— ISU furthered its reputation in the bowl community as a school who’ll bring fans in droves.

The entire lower bowl of its side of Sun Devil Stadium was full and sections of the stands in the upper decks were littered with fans wearing red. The Cyclones sold 8,300 tickets through their ticket office, more than four times what their opponents sold.

“That’s great when you compare it to Minnesota,” said ISU President Gregory Geoffroy. “I think we exceeded expectations of the bowl sponsors. The Insight Bowl folks are pleased. That’s important. That’s why we are here. They invited us back because of our fan support.”

An estimated 20,000 fans (more depending on who you ask) came to town for the 2000 Bowl against Pittsburgh that was played at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix.

— Tailback Alexander Robinson will enter his senior season in 2010 at No. 10 on the Cyclones’ career rushing list with 2,363 yards. His 137 yards against Minnesota gave him 1,195 this year, which is the 14th-best single-season mark in school history.

— Thursday night’s game tied for the second-lowest scoring game in the 21-year history of the Insight Bowl.

Over the last six years, only the  Hawaii Bowl has averaged more total points (85.0) than the Insight’s 79.2. 

— ISU improved to 3-7 all-time in bowl games. Two of the victories have been in this bowl.

Minnesota is 5-9 in bowls. The Gophers have suffered four straight losses, three coming in the Insight Bowl to Texas Tech, Kansas and now ISU.

— The final question of Iowa State’s postgame news conference was an odd one. A reporter asked Coach Paul Rhoads about the fate of Big 12 coaches who have beaten Minnesota in the Insight Bowl — Mark Mangino at Kansas and Texas Tech’s Mike Leach. Both were fired in the month of December.

“On a lighter note…how do you feel about your luck going into the offseason?” the reporter asked.

“You describe that as a lighter note?” an amused Rhoads shot back.

— Next season the Insight Bowl gets the fourth selection from the Big 12 and the fifth from the Big Ten.

This year it had the fifth pick among Big 12 Conference teams, and drew criticism from many for picking ISU over Missouri, a team that had two more regular-season victories and a head-to-head edge over the Cyclones.

The Tigers were blown out by Navy, 35-13, earlier Thursday in the Texas Bowl.

— Game time temperature: 63 degrees. Gotta love being in Arizona in December.


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