Zach Petersen has been the best Iowa State defensive lineman
Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMES, Ia. — That’s more like it, I heard more than one Iowa State fan say while finally filing from Jack Trice Stadium after another very long, weather-related Saturday afternoon.
Yes, it was another long day. But this time, the two-hour extra wait was worth it.
And now, it’s time for the Cyclones to build off Saturday’s 49-24 victory against a TCU outfit that usually plays superior defense.
West Virginia is the opponent next Saturday in Morgantown, and the Mountaineers are coming off a 42-24 loss against 12th-ranked Texas.
The Cyclones will be favored, if that helps.
Then it’s at Texas Tech, against a Red Raiders squad that won at home against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Before Saturday, I’d have said Iowa State, but I don’t know now. Let’s go with the Cyclones, assuming they play like they did against TCU.
Then it’s back home against the roller coaster-riding Cowboys on Oct. 26, and I’m going out and saying it right now …
The Cyclones should win that game, too.
Campbell is as bullish on this team as any he’s ever coached
Again, all this assumes, of course, that Matt Campbell’s team continues playing as consistently well as it played Saturday. It assumes, too, that consistency improves, because if the Cyclones play like they did against TCU, then anything’s possible, really.
“I really love this team,” Campbell said. “Best team I’ve ever coached. I’ve never been down on these guys.”
I sense he’s talking mostly about the chemistry this 3-2 team has, because last season’s Iowa State team was pretty darn good. I sense also he’s referring to the fact that everyone gets along with everyone — also a trait of his two previous Cyclones teams.
“As an offense, we don’t have any egos,” said tight end Charlie Kolar, whose lone reception was a 25-yard touchdown. “We win together, and we lose together. It doesn’t matter who plays well.”
You know what would have happened if Iowa State wouldn’t have won on Saturday, right? Another eight-win season would have been tough. Reaching a bowl game could have gone down to the final Saturday at Kansas State.
That’s what could have happened. But now, with the way Campbell’s Brock Purdy-led team leveled the Horned Frogs, I’m back to thinking all’s well in Cycloneville again.
TCU’s Gary Patterson says Cyclones ‘kicked our butts’
And he’s right.
Not that stuff was wrong in losses against Iowa and Baylor — opponents against whom Iowa State just as well could have beaten or maybe should have beaten.
Iowa State did hammer TCU. Purdy’s 102 rushing yards was 23 more than the average of 79.2 yards for which TCU opponents rushed.
And most of Purdy’s dozen rushes were actually planned.
“He showed (Saturday) how well he can throw and how well he can run,” tailback Johnnie Lang said.
We knew Purdy could throw well — 19 of 24 for 247 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday against the second-best pass defense in the Big 12 showed that. We knew he could run well, too. We knew the sophomore was one-of-a-kind even before his big game Saturday.
“Special guy, special kid,” Kolar said. “He’s a leader off the field, too.”
We react sometimes like’s a one-man show, but that’s not being fair. The offensive line played while doing its part. Lang had some nice runs. Deshaunte Jones caught 10 passes for 100 yards in becoming the first Iowa State receiver since Damien Groce in 1998 with multiple 10-catch games during a season.
Yes, it’s Brocktober, all right
Purdy’s excellence sometimes causes people to overlook the defense, too, but Saturday, those guys played well when needed. On one play, for example, O’Rien Vance sacked Iowan TCU quarterback Max Duggen so abruptly that he lost the ball. Enyi Uwazurike picked the ball up at the 1-yard line, stepped into the end zone and the stadium went nuts. The players did likewise, even Campbell.
“I keep telling the guys to have fun,” Purdy said.
So yeah, it was a fun game for everyone — even for the fans who weathered a two-hour rain delay. After all, they got to see another October victory. It’s eight in a row now over three seasons, and the only other Power Five school that can boast a streak like that plays in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
“Everybody keeps saying it’s Brocktober,” Jones said. “I always joke with Brock about it. I even did on this first day of October. He shrugged it off. He ignored me.”
That’s fine. Purdy tunes out stuff like that. Kolar said there’s no egos, remember.
So I asked Jones, who also had a rousing start to the month, about something like Oct-shaunte. He smiled, then said:
“It doesn’t really flow — like Brocktober.”
Randy Peterson is the Iowa State columnist for the Register. Reach him at email@example.com, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete. No one covers the Cyclones like the Register. Subscribe today at Des Moines Register.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.
Source: Des Moines Register