Why Iowa State is having so much success in the fourth quarter

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Iowa State’s Julian Good-Jones will make his record-breaking 49th career start Saturday.
Tommy Birch, tbirch@dmreg.com

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Throughout Iowa State’s 41-31 win over Kansas last week, Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy noticed something important — the Cyclones were getting a nice matchup with Iowa State wide receiver La’Michael Pettway.

The quarterback figured it was something the Cyclones could exploit. Instead of taking advantage of it right away, though, he did something else. He waited for the right time to exploit it.

“I had that going through my mind (heading into the fourth quarter),” Purdy said. “That’s just how I adjust going into the fourth quarter in crunch time when we need certain downs in certain situations.”

So as Iowa State was clinging to a 3-point lead over the Jayhawks, Purdy decided to take advantage of the mismatch in one of the most important moments of the game.

With the Cyclones facing a third-and-8 on the Kansas 35-yard line, Purdy fired a 25-yard pass to Pettway for a first down to keep the drive alive.

Iowa State ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive to put things too far out of reach for Kansas.

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy was great during the second half against Kansas
Randy Peterson, rpeterson@dmreg.com

Campbell also credits Iowa State’s defense for his team’s late game success. The veteran unit has kept them in games while the offense has found its footing and also come up with big stops, like a big fourth quarter stop against Kansas.

Then there’s the mindset of the Cyclones, who have had to rally in the fourth quarter of all three games.

“I think the one thing it certainly says about the fight of our football team is that we’ll continue to play, and playing hard for four quarters has become the standard of this program and I think our kids have done a great job of that,” Campbell said. “So it certainly has at least given us the ability to play well in the fourth quarter.” 

But it hasn’t always worked out well for Iowa State. Despite the big fourth quarters, Iowa State couldn’t take down Baylor or Oklahoma. The Cyclones even had a meltdown earlier in the season in losses to Iowa and Oklahoma State. But those are part of the learning process.

The hope now is that after the Kansas game, more fourth quarter success can lead to more wins. 

“I think a young offensive team growing up in the season and certainly a credit to Brock is our ability to make adjustments schematically within the game to hopefully put ourselves in the best situation in the fourth quarter,” Campbell said. “I think probably all that has to do with maybe that statistic of our team playing good in the fourth quarter.” 

Iowa State (7-4, 5-3) at Kansas State (7-4, 4-4)

Source: Des Moines Register