Iowa State football covered the spread against Texas on Saturday, but could not leave Austin with a win. The Cyclones choked away an opportunity to take the lead in the final minutes and a questionable lack of targeting call all but ended the game.
With just under three minutes left in the game, Iowa State trailed by three with the ball. It was driving into Texas territory and set up on 1st-and-10 from just inside the 50-yard-line.
Quarterback Hunter Dekkers took the snap, dropped back in the pocket and unleashed a bomb to the right side. Wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson was wide open and streaking toward the end zone.
Had the throw-and-catch been perfect, he would have scored. Instead, he choked it away.
Dekkers’ pass was slightly under-thrown, so Hutchinson had to stop his stride, slow up and track the ball. It wasn’t on the money, but it was pretty darn good.
Rather than hauling it in for a first down at the Texas 10-yard-line, he dropped it. The ball hit Hutchinson in the hands, he had it in his arms as he hit the ground, and dropped it. Brutal.
A drop like that simply will not win you any football games. Iowa State choked away its best opportunity of the afternoon.
However, it did not take them out of the game. The Cyclones kept the ball and continued to drive, slowly but surely.
And then a questionable targeting no-call made things even more interesting between Iowa State and Texas football.
With two minutes and 22 seconds left in the game, Dekkers ran an RPO to the left side and kept the ball himself. After a four-yard game, he got LICKED by Longhorns defensive back Anthony Cook and coughed up the ball.
The hit on Dekkers was a big pop and it raises two questions:
- Was Dekkers’ knee down before he fumbled?
- Did Cook’s hit warrant a targeting penalty?
You be the judge:
As for those who thought that there should have been a flag thrown, Campbell was the most vocal. He ran over to the officiating crew and lost his mind, making it very clear that he thought targeting should have been called on the play.
The dichotomy of Campbell flipping his lid while Longhorns fans celebrated in the stands is incredible. Especially considering that his team might have won if it didn’t drop a wide open pass in the red zone. After recovering the fumble, Texas ran out the clock and held on to win.