INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
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AMES — Out of the corner of his eye, Iowa State center Brian Bobek saw a Baylor defender jump offside.
He snapped the ball as quickly as he could and expected a penalty. The flag never came and quarterback Joel Lanning had to dive on the loose ball for a seven-yard loss.
“As far as I could tell he wasn’t (back on his side), but I asked the referees and they said he was so I snapped it because I didn’t think he was back,” Bobek said. “We’ll watch the film and see there.”
The low snap skidded across the ground, no flag appeared and thus started Iowa State’s offensive skid in a 45-42 loss to No. 13 Baylor on Saturday.
“That guy, definitely, clearly offsides, but did that guy get back in time?” said Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell. “That’s the question there. I don’t know the answer to that obviously, but the official said he did.
“It’s kind of a reaction and I think (Bobek) did the right thing. He was outstanding. Should he have done it quicker? I don’t know.”
Including an eight-yard rush by Lanning on the play right before the yardage loss, the Cyclones (1-4, 0-2) gained just seven total yards in the final quarter. The lost yardage put Iowa State third-and-long and led to the first of three Colin Downing punts.
Baylor showed its offensive efficiency in the fourth quarter, sustaining more patient drives with an occasional big play. The Bears (5-0, 2-0) totaled 36 plays, 253 yards — 213 of which were rushing — and 10:00 time of possession in the final period.
“We stalled ourselves,” said Lanning, who was 17-for-23 passing for 261 yards and two touchdowns. “We ran the ball all day, should have been able to in the late third quarter or late fourth quarter, whatever it was.
“We have to figure out how to win those games and figure out as an offense to make those plays and get points on the board in those situations.”
CARSON EPPS PART OF PROLIFIC RECEIVING CORE
Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning showed his efficiency through three quarters in his team’s 45-42 loss to Baylor, but only connected with four receivers.
Part of that limited number was how much each pass catcher was able to produce.
Trever Ryen led all receivers with five catches for 75 yards. Deshaunte Jones, coming off a two-score game last week, had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. Allen Lazard had three catches for 33 yards while sophomore Carson Epps broke through with three catches for 60 yards and his first-career touchdown.
“Losing like that sucks, obviously, and the competitive side of me wants to be out there, I want the game on my shoulders,” Epps said. “It’s something that we’re close and we’re getting there.
“We can’t hold onto this one too long. It’s going to suck, it’s going to be hard to sleep tonight, but we’ll turn around, get in the room tomorrow and be ready to go.”
See ya! Iowa State came to play! https://t.co/A8wWQvZYvU— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 1, 2016
Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell said he had no injury news to report. Safety Kamari Cotton-Moya, who missed a portion of the game after getting dinged up, returned later in the second half and had six tackles.
Right guard Patrick Scoggins, who was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter, did not appear to be putting pressure on his left leg. Campbell said the health issues after the game were related to cramps.
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