Chris Dertz of the Northern Star asks why we couldn't get any pressure on Austen Arnaud.
Arnaud had all day and all night to throw, which allowed him to pick apart NIU’s secondary to the tune of 265 passing yards.
I've watched the game a couple times since then and there wasn't any point in the game where I thought that we weren't getting good pressure on the QB. Iowa State runs a no-huddle spread offense and got the ball off QUICK almost every single play. Very few plays were basic runs out of the backfield or slow developing passing plays. Everything was about getting the ball to players right away in open space, away from where our defensive linemen can make an impact.
We only gave up 138 yds, which is not bad at all considering 63 of those yards were given up right away on that run by Alexander Robinson after the DeMarcus Grady INT at the beginning of the 2nd quarter.
There was fresh meat everywhere else on defense. Tyrone Clark played out of his mind on the weakside and was the obvious MVP finishing with 9 tackles, a TFL and an INT. This was his only his 2nd career start (started Independence bowl).
Devon Butler made his first start ever at MLB and did OK. He did have some trouble fighting off blocks and finished with only 5 tackles and tipped the pass that Tracy Wilson intercepted. Jordan Delegal took his lumps as well.
Alex Kube is supposed to be our senior stud at linebacker and he didn't come close to meeting expectations. Kube stuck out like a sore thumb on the defensive side of the ball. Missed tackle after missed tackle, bad pursuit angles. It was just ugly to watch. Definitely one of the worst defensive performances I have ever seen by an NIU player. He needs to start coming off the bench or something.
The secondary REALLY needed Patrick George to be successful. There was way too much pressure being put on Kiaree Daniels and everybody else with how many receivers they were tossing out there every single play. Not to mention it was Tommy Davis' first start at FS. It took him a while to get into the groove of the game.
The secondary would have played more press and man if PG was in the lineup.
On the defensive line, Sean Progar got a sack, D.J. Pirkle recovered a fumble. Arnaud wasn't comfortable. We pressured him into throwing two interceptions. We did have 3 roughing the passer penalties called.
The defensive line played OK. They weren't great by any sense of the means, but they were still the best defensive unit on the field. Let's do a re-evaluation of the D-Line once everybody else on that side of the ball wants to start playing like they're supposed to.