Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads went on a classic rant after a pair of botched calls cost the Cyclones a close game against the University of Texas.
The Cyclones outplayed the Longhorns for most of the night, but clung to a six-point lead late in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game, Deadspin reports. With about a minute left in the game, Texas had worked its way down to Iowa State’s 1-yard line, setting up several goal-line plunges by Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray.
On first-and-goal, Iowa State stopped Gray in his tracks and appeared to force a game-clinching fumble. However, the game’s officials reviewed the play and ruled that Gray was down by contact, setting up another goal-line carry for Texas.
Gray received another handoff on second-and-goal, only to lose control of the football for a second time. This time, the officials didn’t even review the play, allowing the Longhorns to take a third shot at the end zone. Quarterback Case McCoy scored on a quarterback sneak, giving Texas a 31-30 lead and, eventually, the win.
After the game, an emotional Rhoads ranted about the game’s results and took a subtle shot at the officials. “I’ve got the privilege as the head coach of this football program to face my players, win or lose, and look them in the eye and [say] how proud I am of the work they put forth, the effort they gave,” Rhoads said.
“To make a play on the 1-yard line with their backs against the wall — clear to everybody — and have it taken away from them … that’s hard to express. You don’t just put an arm around a guy and tell him it’s okay when that happens to him. I’m so proud of the effort my kids gave to win this football game.”
Rhoads’ rant likely has just as much to do with his team’s record as it does the disappointing result of Thursday night’s game against Texas. The Cyclones are now 1-3 this season, and are 0-1 in Big 12 conference play.
The Washington Post's Cindy Boren points out that Rhoads’ rant is reminiscent of a similar press conference given by Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. In 2004, Gundy responded to a local newspaper’s criticism of his starting quarterback by screaming at the reporter who wrote the article. “Come after me! I’m a man, I’m 40!” Gundy said.
A video of Paul Rhoads’ rant can be viewed below, courtesy of the Des Moines Register.