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November 18, 2012Saturday's 51-23 Iowa State win over Kansas is pretty easy to break down. When a team like Kansas that lives off running the football and slowing the game turns the ball over multiple times and falls behind early, it doesn't have the offensive firepower to rally back.
Iowa State offensively exploited the mistakes that the Kansas defense has been making all season. The biggest one being the double moves that the Kansas defensive backs bit on throughout the game.
"You put negative things on tape and people are going to try to exploit them," Charlie Weis said.
Weis dialed up a few extra motivational ploys before the game. In addition to using the black and white alternative uniforms, he also gathered the team in the auditorium and had the seniors one by one address the team. They each gave stories about what the team meant to them and the brotherhood they developed during their time at Kansas.
"It was really emotional and gave us a lot of juice to play the game," center Trevor Marrongelli said.
Offensively, Kansas had success running the ball early with a heavy dose of zone blocking. The play of the game for Kansas came when on a designed flea flicker, running back Tony Pierson realized the ISU defender was expecting the pitch back to Crist so Pierson kept it and took it to the house for a 55 yard touchdown.
"If you give Tony an open field there is a good chance it's going to turn out the way it turned out," Weis said.
Iowa State caught Kansas off guard when they switched quarterbacks to Sam Richardson who wasn't even on the two deep. Later on Iowa State coach Paul Rhodes would say it was one of the best debuts he had ever seen. Richardson completed 23 of 27 passes for 250 yards. Senior defensive end Toben Opurum said he had never even heard of Richardson until he came in.
"He did some really good things but really that doesn't change what we do," Opurum said. "We have to focus on our assignments of what we need to do to stop the play. They were running the same offense they had with the other quarterback."
Kansas has a week off now and will take on West Virginia in two weeks. Weis said after the game that if he had it his way that he would play the final game this week. The reason being that he wants the extra week to spend fully on recruiting for the 2013 class. Now, on the following Sunday Weis will be flying around the country making in home visits while also having to prepare for West Virginia.
For the players, they have one more chance to crack the Big 12 losing streak. Either way, Marrongelli had one final message to the fans.
"Things are going to change," Marrongelli said. "This isn't the same program that you had last year or the year before. Everyone can feel it around the program that this isn't the same team. We have been competitive all year but it's been small things that have led to us not winning games. Things are going to change around here especially with the ways that Coach Weis is shaking things up. It's going to be exciting."