No matter how much a team is struggling, it’s tremendous to see how much a visit from a top 5 team can ignite fan support. Jack Trice Stadium’s surroundings filled with anticipation for what Cyclone fans would hope could be an upset. Of course, history wasn’t exactly on its side as Iowa State’s record against top 5 teams rests at 1-54-2. Nevertheless, the chance is enough to generate optimism.
Typically, match ups that garner such interest are ideal for visits from potential recruits. We spotted a tour in session for potential future Cyclones that was shuffling toward an entrance that led to the tunnel where Iowa State players pour out onto the field. With feeble security on hand, we hooked onto the end of the line and played like we were sought-after high school players, which was a tough stunt to pull in my human-windsock of a frame. But, no one seemed to mind as we walked through the tunnel onto the field and into the athletic complex, snapping pictures like wide eyed tourists. It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to playing college football.
We returned to our rightful place among the fans and caught the team walk, pregame band performance, and a photo opportunity with Cy the Cyclone. Excitement built as kickoff loomed and piercing sirens signaled a “cyclone warning” throughout the stadium prepping fans for the biggest home game of the season.
A defensive-optional first quarter kept concession and restroom lines to a minimum as all eyes zoomed in on an offensive frenzy. Five seconds into the second quarter, and the score read 21-21. Unlike recent Horned Frog efforts, TCU would be able to clamp down early on this power surge from the Cyclones. QB Trevone Boykin lit up the second half while Iowa State fizzled out. In fact, the Cyclones wouldn’t score again losing 45-21.
Despite another notch in the loss column against top five foes, Iowa State played valiantly and their fans supported loyally, which is part of what makes a football game in Ames so special. There’s a lot of devotion here, and it’s bound to translate into more memorable finishes in the near future.