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AMES — A record-breaking day nearly ended in disaster for Iowa State on Saturday.
Allen Lazard broke Todd Blythe's career receiving yards record and David Montgomery broke the 1,000-yard mark, just the 14th Cyclone to do so, in Iowa State's 23-13 win over Baylor in Waco, Texas.
But late in the fourth quarter, Montgomery was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. He had a Baylor defender wrapped around his legs and another one came up high and Montgomery got bent back awkwardly.
Cyclone Nation collectively held its breath as Montgomery didn't put any weight on his left leg as he was helped off the field. Once he made it to the sidelines, he was carted off to the locker room.
The Cyclones eventually iced the game away but it looked like Montgomery was dealing with a serious injury.
Iowa State got good news after the game.
'He's awesome, and I think he'll be just fine,' coach Matt Campbell said after the game during an on-field interview with FOX. 'X-rays came back negative.'
That doesn't mean Montgomery and the Cyclones are out of the woods yet, but it's a step in the right direction.
'I think we're really lucky,' Campbell said in a radio interview. 'The X-rays were all positive in terms of no major injuries. If I know David, he'll be ready to rock and roll. Don't count him out.'
Before the injury, Montgomery put together one of his most impressive games to date. He ran for 144 yards on 27 attempts, averaging over five yards per carry and broke a number of tackles.
As the game went on, the Baylor defensive line wore down and Montgomery had more and more holes to run through.
'The offensive line did better as the game went on,' quarterback Zeb Noland said in a radio interview. 'Baylor kept rotating its defensive line. By the end of the game he was getting 8 to 10 yards per carry.'
Those big chunks opened up the passing game for Noland. But the most impressive passing plays came in the first half before the run game was established.
The first was a 36-yard pass play to Lazard, a play that broke Todd Blythe's record. Lazard now has 3,123 career receiving yards.
'I knew it was going to Allen, you just have to give that guy a chance,' Noland said. 'I knew he broke the record when he caught it.'
It was Noland's first touchdown of his career. Lazard has now caught a touchdown pass from four different quarterbacks this season. The two took a picture with the ball after the game.
A couple of drives after, offensive coordinator Tom Manning dialed up the same play, this time to Hakeem Butler.
Butler hauled it in with one hand, pinned the ball to his helmet, broke three tackles and scored an unbelievable touchdown. Noland didn't even know he scored at first.
'Hakeem's unreal when the ball is in the air,' Noland said. 'I didn't even know he scored until I heard the crowd – I was looking at the sidelines for the next play. Then I looked up and saw it on the scoreboard and it was unreal.'
Here is that Butler one-handed catch for a TD courtesy FSN. November 18, 2017
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB)
The Butler play was one of two plays that stuck out to Campbell after the game as game-changing plays.
The other was a Brian Peavy forced fumble and fumble recovery on Iowa State's 3-yard line. The Bears looked like they were about to score, but Peavy stripped the ball from running back John Lovett to end the Baylor drive and give Iowa State the football back.
'That's team football and that's the willingness to really believe,' Campbell said, 'These kids never faltered – everyone was waiting for a letdown this week.'