Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Iowa State coach Gene Chizik surprised his team Sunday night by making a dodge ball game a pivotal part in their day-after practices after a disappointing 28-24 loss to Colorado.
The Cyclones frittered away an 11-point in the fourth quarter Saturday as Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins torched them for four second-half touchdown passes. Iowa State had a chance to win the game on the final play of the game, but tailback Alexander Robinson was stuffed for a loss as the Cyclones failed to convert from the Colorado 1-yard line.
Chizik said he hopes that the Sunday night dodge ball game would rejuvenate the Cyclones' competitive streak.
"We stirred it up with a little dodge ball," Chizik said. "It was fun to see them get to play. I played an elementary game and they competed like they were 3 or 4 years old. I told them it was obvious they love to compete. Now, we have to go out and compete like that for the last two weeks of the season."
The loss stretched Iowa State's road losing streak to 16 games -- second-longest in the country behind UAB's 19-game streak.
And it won't get any easier for the Cyclones on Saturday when they host Missouri. The Tigers can clinch their second-straight North Division title with a win and if Kansas loses to Texas earlier in the day.
"We've lost eight straight games, but we've got to keep the fun with what we're doing with this team," Chizik said. "We've got a lot of young kids who are resilient. It was a tough loss but I was proud of them. Mentally, we're just trying to keep these kids refreshed."