116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Jirehl Brock burst through a hole, juked two defenders and powered through another.
Just short of the goal line, Iowa State’s top tailback extended his arm, the football was poked free, and disaster nearly struck.
Instead, the ball bounced his way, Brock fell on it and secured it before going out of bounds. So the redshirt junior scored a touchdown that helped keep the Cyclones in the game late against No. 17 Baylor, but it wouldn’t be enough in a 31-24 loss Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.
“It’s not always that the ball bounces right back to you when that happens,” said Brock, who scored two touchdowns in the Cyclones’ first conference home loss in their past 12 games. “That’s on me. I can’t have that mistake. I have to finish that run and get into the end zone without the suspense of it being a fumble or a touchdown run.
It turned out to be both — sort of.
Technically, Brock’s touchdown didn’t come on his longest rush of the game of 37 yards. It came on the fumble recovery. But at least in that one instance, the ball did bounce favorably for the Cyclones on a day when it usually didn’t.
“You feel Jirehl play the game of football the right way,” ISU head coach Matt Campbell said after his team fell to 3-1 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play. “I am so grateful for his toughness. Now I’d like him to hold onto the ball crossing into the end zone. That’s not (pertaining to) toughness. That’s precision, but the toughness he plays with, the way he plays, the way he battles, the way he continues to lead that running back room, that’s really fun for us.”
Brock has fumbled twice this season — and both times at the goal line. He lost a fumble into the end zone two weeks ago in a 10-7 win over Iowa, but Saturday’s miscue didn’t cost the Cyclones seven points.
So that’s progress.
“The refs, they were making calls all game and you don’t know which way they were gonna go, so just making sure that I got on the ball and making it to where they did say it was recovered by somebody, (they’d say) it was recovered by me,” Brock said.
Dimitri Stanley’s first ISU touchdown
Iowa State graduate transfer Dimitri Stanley is a native Coloradan who played four seasons for Colorado. He caught four touchdown passes as a Buffalo and snared his first as a Cyclone in Saturday’s game.
“Nothing like it,” Stanley said of celebrating his 24-yard touchdown catch. “Man, the electricity out there — those fans are just electric. It definitely felt good to get that weight off my shoulders.”