Iowa State football's losing streak reaches 5 games. What went wrong for the Cyclones?

AMES – The Iowa State football program was expected to have some growing pains during the 2022 campaign after losing key contributors to the NFL.

But Iowa State’s issues this season have reached a level the program hasn’t seen since coach Matt Campbell first got to Ames.

Iowa State suffered its fifth straight loss with a 27-13 setback to Oklahoma at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday. It’s the first five-game skid for the Cyclones since Campbell’s first year in 2016.

The 2016 season also was considered a rebuilding year. The Cyclones eventually rebounded and picked up some momentum by the end of the season, winning two of their last three games. Iowa State will need an even better finish this time around to salvage this season.

Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell argues a call with officials in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Oklahoma.
Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell argues a call with officials in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Oklahoma.

With the latest loss, Iowa State fell to 3-5 and 0-5 in Big 12 Conference play. The Cyclones have four games remaining and will need to win three of them to become bowl-eligible for the sixth straight season. That will be a tall task for the Cyclones who, despite being strong on defense, have struggled on offense and have been vulnerable on special teams.

Related:Iowa State football recap: Cyclones fall to Oklahoma 27-13

Saturday was another good outing for Iowa State’s strong defense. The only touchdown the Sooners scored the first two quarters came on a successful fake field goal by Zach Schmit, who caught a 2-yard pass to give Oklahoma a 10-3 lead in the second quarter.

Iowa State tried to take advantage of good field position after a great punt by Tyler Perkins pinned Oklahoma deep in its own territory late in the first half.

Oklahoma went three and out and punted, giving Iowa State the ball on its own 49-yard line. But Iowa State’s offense, which couldn't get into a rhythm because of an ineffective running game, had to settle for a 43-yard field goal by Jace Gilbert to pull within 13-6.

Iowa State's defense had only one major blip during the day. It came when Oklahoma wide receiver Jalil Farooq slipped past Iowa State's secondary and hauled in an easy 41-touchdown pass to extend the Sooners' lead to 20-6.

More:Peterson: Iowa State football's bad offense made Oklahoma's bad defense look decent

That seemed like it was going to be more than enough to keep Iowa State's struggling offense from getting back into the game. But the Cyclones finally got some momentum in the fourth quarter when they opted to go for it on fourth-and-12. Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers tossed a short pass to Jaylin Noel, who reached the end zone to pull Iowa State to within 20-13.

But Iowa State's issues on offense haunted Campbell's team all day. The Cyclones got a quick stop on defense before Dekkers threw his second interception of the game. Even after another stand by the defense, Iowa State couldn't take advantage of the good work. Dekkers was picked off a third time.

Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa State's losing streak reaches five games. What went wrong? A lot.