TOLEDO, Ohio — Cole Netten's missed 32-yard field goal as time expired in regulation was the obvious turning point in Iowa State's 30-23 double overtime loss to Toledo on Saturday night, particularly when the junior had hit a career-long 47-yarder through the same uprights to tie the game just minutes earlier.
But Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads said there were plenty of opportunities missed earlier in the contest.
Iowa State squandered a late scoring chance after Brian Peavy's diving interception of Toledo quarterback Phillip Ely gave the Cyclones the ball at midfield with 2:36 remaining in the tie game. Running back Mike Warren fumbled it back to Toledo 86 seconds later, however, at the Rockets' 15-yard-line.
"There were a lot of plays that affected the outcome of the game," Rhoad said. "We had an uncharacteristic amount of penalties tonight for our team, which definitely was a contributing factor."
The Cyclones were penalized 14 times for 113 yards. That included an offside penalty on a Toledo punt that continued the Rockets only touchdown drive of the second half.
Netten (44 yards) and Toledo's Jameson Vest (42 yards) exchanged field goals on the teams' first overtime possession. Toledo had the ball first in the second overtime and scored on a 10-yard sweep from Damion Jones-Moore. On a last-gasp, fourth-and-goal play on Iowa State's next possession, quarterback Sam Richardson eluded a handful of Toledo defenders before defensive end Tre James caught him from behind for a sack to end the game.
With that, the Cyclones limp into a bye week with back-to-back losses on their mind.
"We'll take advantage of (the bye week) and we'll have a great week," Rhoad said. "We'll practice and get better. We will go out and recruit and we will get the Iowa State brand out there nationally."
Toledo's Doak Walker Award candidate Kareem Hunt, who missed Toledo's first two games due to a violation of team rules, returned to the lineup and rushed for 129 yards on 24 carries. Ely threw for 138 yards, including a touchdown to Alonzo Russell, and was inadvertently part of a second touchdown when Alex Zmolik recovered his fumble in the end zone.
That play gave the Rockets (2-0) a 20-10 lead in the third quarter, but Iowa State (1-2) scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
Richardson connected with D'Vario Montgomery on a 59-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and Trever Ryen scored on a 1-yard-run early in the fourth for Iowa State. Richardson completed 25 of 42 passes for 269 yards.
The Cyclones, who were averaging just 70 yards rushing in their first two games — worst among all Power 5 schools — did finally gain some traction on the ground.
Mike Warren's 126 yards on 21 carries paced a ground attack that finished with 207 yards against a Rockets defense that had limited then-No. 18 Arkansas to 103 yards rushing in a 16-12 upset of the Razorbacks on Sept. 12 in Little Rock.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org