David Montgomery took the handoff from Kyle Kempt and headed toward the right side of the line. It was congested, so the Iowa State running back planted his right foot and reversed course, back inside the hash marks.
Montgomery hit the open field, flying past the near hash mark and toward Cowboys' safety Ramon Richards. As Montgomery was shaking off Richards, linebacker Justin Phillips leaped onto his back but slid off.
For those scoring at home, Montgomery forced three missed tackles on the 22-yard touchdown run. They were three of 109 missed tackles forced on the season for the 5-foot-11, 219-pound sophomore, an all-time record, according to Pro Football Focus. The previous record was 89, set by Florida State's Dalvin Cook in 2016. And he could be even better as a senior this year.
“There are intricacies in the position that he has plenty of room to grow in,” Iowa State running backs coach Nate Scheelhaase said in March. “He’s so natural with the ball in his hands that he can do some things on his own, but he can grow in learning about the offense and how the tailback fits into the offense.”
Both head coach Matt Campbell and offensive line coach Jeff Myers have praised Montgomery after rushing for more than 1,600 in his first two seasons but said the best is yet to come if Iowa State's offensive line can improve.
“His growth will come a little bit as well with the offensive line’s growth,” Campbell said. “The greatest challenge to this football team is: Can this offensive line grow? And can this offensive line become what championship teams look like?”
If the Cyclones have a championship-caliber offensive line, David Montgomery will be in the open field more. And if David Montgomery is in the open field more, as he was when disposing of Jarrell Owens, Ramon Richards and Justin Phillips last November, he might set a new missed-tackles record.