Houghton: Well, the most obvious thing that happened is that Matt Struck, who was putting up monster stats and garnering some slight buzz as one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Sky, started throwing the ball directly to opposing defensive backs with nothing but green grass in front of them. Struck started the season with 15 touchdowns and one pick in his first five games. Since then? Five touchdowns and 11 picks in five games, with five of those interceptions returned for touchdowns, plus two more lost fumbles, one of which was also returned for a touchdown.
Those aren’t just turnovers, they’re back-breaking, game-changing turnovers, and it’s been hard for ISU to overcome them. I also think that this just isn’t a team that plays well on the road, so suffering two road losses at Idaho and Southern Utah after the North Dakota game wasn’t completely out of left field. Those two losses essentially meant that the Bengals had nothing to play for the rest of the season, and I think that’s seeped into their play as well.