Most Painful Losses, 2000-2009 (Part 3)

Hump day.  Halfway over with this stroll down Nightmare Street, and halfway to looking at some much, much better times.  22 days ’till kickoff.  Let’s get moving, it’s getting more and more painful to write these posts.

Once again, the ratings were based on:

-What was at stake?
-Who was the opponent?
-How was the game lost?
-How bad does it sting today?

This means we’re going to start seeing some recent losses, losses to some bitter rivals, more kicking game blunders, and more losses from winning seasons, where a game or two meant the difference between an amazing season and one that left us thinking, “We were so close…”
Here you can find #25-#21, and here you can find #20-#16.

15.)  “Kicking woes at Kyle” – Texas A&M 24, ISU 21 – October 27, 2001

WANTED: Someone, ANYONE, who can do this on a consistent basis. POC: Dan McCarney

If ISU football history was a book, you could call this game “foreshadowing” for the rest of the decade.  The 5-1 Cyclones headed down to College Station to face the 6-1 Aggies, a team that ISU was 0-5 against in history.   Both teams had suffered tough losses to great teams, ISU at home against a #2 Nebraska team, A&M on the road against #20 Colorado (who would win the Big XII Championship that year).  A&M bottled up Ennis Haywood and went up 24-14 with 5 minutes to play, but Seneca Wallace snuck in from a yard out to make the score 24-21 with 1:27 on the clock.  The onside kick went out of bounds, and A&M ran out the clock.

Like the 2004 Colorado game, the real story here was ISU’s futility in the kicking game.  Tony Yelk was 0-4 on the day, including two blocks (a 26-yarder on the opening drive and a 46-yarder as the first half ended) and one that DOINKED off the left upright.  12 points left on the field.

Games on this list lost by the kicking game:  3

14.) “Smurf Turf Bowl” – Boise St. 34, ISU 16 – December 31, 2002

I thought camouflage was illegal in college football...

ISU went 6-1 to start the 2002 season before the wheels came off the bus.  As they say, “the punishment fits the crime,” and when the crime is finishing 7-6 after starting 6-1, the punishment is banishment to “beautiful” Boise, Idaho to face the #18 Broncos on the blue turf of the Humanitarian Bowl.  Of course, that means for all intents and purposes, ISU was playing a road game, which was made even worse when three ISU starters (JaMaine Billups, Marc Timmons, and Collin Menard) were ruled academically ineligible.  Things went from bad to worse when Seneca hyperextended his knee in the 1st quarter, although ISU led 10-7 at halftime.  The second half, however, was all Boise State, as they blew it open, giving ISU and their fans one final kick in a disappointing season.

13.) “Kansas’ Comeback” – Kansas 35, ISU 33 – October 4, 2008

You didn’t think we were done with Gene Chizik yet, did you?  Oh no, we’ve got one more gem to relive.  3-1 Kansas walked into Ames with a #16 ranking and coming off the high-water mark of Kansas football the prior season (Orange Bowl win).  Like the OU game the year before (see #20), ISU came out blasting, opening up a 20-0 lead going into the half while holding the high-powered KU offense to 96 yards, putting the nation on “Upset Alert”.  KU, however, awoke from their slumber at the break, snapping off three straight TD’s in their first three possessions to take the lead, 21-20.  Their first possession of the 4th quarter got stopped on the ISU 11 when Ter’ran Benton recovered a fumble, but they took it right back on an interception that was returned to the ISU 6, where they promptly extended their lead to 28-20.  ISU and KU traded touchdowns over the next three drives to bring the score to 35-33 with just over a minute remaining.  ISU recovered an onside kick, but 4 straight incompletions, including a bomb just beyond the reach of RJ Sumrall on 4th down, slammed the door on ISU’s chance for the upset.  You can relive the comeback here, “thanks” to Rivals.

12.) “Kicking woes at Kinnick” – Iowa 17, ISU 10 – September 11, 2004

A year after the beating at Jack Trice, the Cyclones drove over to Kinnick to attempt to reclaim the Cy-Hawk trophy.  Iowa scored on their first drive, with Albert Young plowing into the endzone, and Ed Hinkel made a diving catch to bring the score to 14-3, which the Hawkeyes extended to 17-3 in the third quarter.  Switching between Meyer and Flynn, the Cyclones drew to 17-10 after Flynn connected with Blythe on a deep pass, but the Hawk defense stiffened when they had to, stuffing Meyer late in the 4th to complete the victory.

Once again, however, the story of the day was ISU’s special teams.  With Tony Yelk out after pulling a muscle, ISU was relying on the leg of walk-on kicker Brian Jansen, who went 1-4 on the day, with misses of 30, 31, and 46 yards.

Games on this list lost by the kicking game:  4

11.)  “Take nothing for granted” – KSU 24, ISU 23 – October 03, 2009

You shouldn’t need much of a refresher on this one.  ISU was 3-1 in Paul Rhoads’ first year going into Farmageddon at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.  Despite playing without Alexander Robinson (pulled groin the prior week), the score was tied 10-10 at half when KSU’s Josh Cherry hit a 39-yard FG with 0:05 left in the 2nd quarter.   ISU went ahead 17-10, but a costly fumble by Derrick Catlett gave KSU an opportunity deep in ISU territory, which they capitalized on to tie it up again, until Grant Gregory squirted away from pressure and heaved up a prayer, which was answered by Brandon Banks for a 54-yard TD.  ISU fought back, scoring a TD with 32 seconds left, but, well:

I need 100 beers.

The PAT was blocked, and KSU recovered the onside kick to win it.

Games on this list lost by the kicking game:  5

Tomorrow:  #10 – #6


11 Responses to Most Painful Losses, 2000-2009 (Part 3)

  1. The Miz says:

    That K-State game was a rollercoaster of emotions. Arrowhead was shaking as ISU fans celebrated the touchdown catch to go down 1. The fans were still celebrating as the ball was snapped and then fate struck. Jubilation to suicide watch in a matter of 45 seconds.

  2. CanAzn says:

    Due to some miscommunication, I let a buddy buy tickets for us and it ended up on the K State side of Farmageddon last year. Due to our kicking issues in the past, I was smart enough to not gloat about “tying up” the game… unfortunately, that didn’t stop the KState fans from yelling obscenities at us after the PAT was blocked.

  3. gojackets says:

    man reading some of these makes me cringe… and there are still 10 left! i dont know how you guys manage to keep your sanity after so much bitter disappointment. love the blog though! gonna be rooting for you guys this year.

  4. Swampfox says:

    One more time. Damn you Brian Jansen!

    Arob did play a good portion of the K-state game. I remember him breaking into the open and pulling up in pain as he ran down the field, still faster than much of the K-state D.

    The K-State loss in 09 was due to letting the Mildcats break open big plays. The 54-yd TD to Banks never should have happened. Chris Lyle had Gregory wrapped up but flew right passed him allowing more time to throw the bomb, which David Simms underplayed and couldn’t recover too. That was 3rd and Long. Get that sack and game over, ISU 4-1 and changes the season by going to the Alamo Bowl.

  5. I am a Cyentist says:

    Wow, next week and the 25 most amazing wins can’t come soon enough. And as if Farmageddon ’09 wasn’t bad enough, that’s the ONLY Cyclone game that FSN chose to replay from last season. I must see that blocked extra point once a month. Why do I even watch the replay? I know what’s going to happen.

  6. normanunderwood says:

    A-Rob had 4 carries during Farmageddon.

    • cjwick says:

      he went out on a dump pas reception didn’t he? He had at least 1 big run while he was out there.

      • CanAzn says:

        Yeah that’s it. Any other day and A-Rob was gone for a TD. I recall a linebacker chasing him down on that play.

  7. fatkid1974 says:

    I was in second row, on the goal line for the KSU blocked PAT. My wife (former hawkeye fan that repented) and my dad about went into coronary arrest after the touchdown. I tried to warn them that with everything great that happens something equally bad will happen. The next thing I heard was the kick and the ball getting blocked was even louder. My sack still hurts almost a year later.

    Tony Yelk story. I met his parents when I was working overnights at the Walcott truck stop. They came in to buy gas on way to Ames one morning, think they were from Wisconsin. Fully clad in ISU garb, I struck up a positive conversation about ISU football. They then said their son was Tony Yelk, the only thing I wanted to say was I can’t believe your willing to admit that in public. I was nice…..then.

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