Iowa State coach Matt Campbell talks about the passion behind the Cy-Hawk rivalary Tommy Birch, firstname.lastname@example.org
You’re over-thinking again.
Iowa State has an advantage in Saturday’s Cy-Hawk game because Iowa has just 4 minutes, 5 seconds of video to analyze?
There’s plenty of video from last season on Kyle Kempt, David Montgomery, Hakeem Butler, the three-man defensive front, the four-man front, the veteran cornerbacks and Matt Campbell’s play-calling tendencies.
“We have the ability to be multiple,” Campbell said.
Iowa State was multiple all last season. Coaches don’t change what’s been successful.
The Cyclones are disadvantaged because of what happened (didn't happen?) last Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium?
“We lost some meaningful reps, and you can sit there and make those excuses, but nobody cares,” Campbell said. “The reality of it is we have to continue to grow and get better just like any team does from week to week.
“Now you’ve got to do it against yourselves ... in practice. That’s one thing I really like about this team — we have practiced really well from spring practice to fall to even what we looked like on Sunday and Monday.”
Playing FCS program South Dakota State in Ames wasn’t expected to be much like facing the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, anyhow. It’s not like Campbell planned to call every play listed on that piece of cardboard that’s attached to his belt each game.
The one-game suspension debate?
Old news. They’re playing. If schools want to change their future official wording to “one-week” suspension, that’s fine, because “one week” could include (but not mandate) everything from in-house punishment to missing a percentage of games during a season.
As far as the debate of 12 regular-season games versus 11 ...
Move on. If the Cyclones are as good as everyone thinks, then they’ll easily reach the bowl-qualifying six wins — or maybe more.
Improvement from Game 1 to Game 2?
If that’s the case, then that’s good if you’re Iowa State. If facing Iowa is Game 1, then hosting Oklahoma is Game 2.
The Big 12 Conference opener in Ames is a heck of a lot more significant to the Cyclones’ season goal than whatever happens on Saturday in Iowa City.
And anyhow, Campbell’s last Toledo team in 2015 opened the season with a cancellation against Stony Brook. His Rockets entered Week 2 — at 18th-ranked Arkansas — without the benefit of playing a four-quarter opening game.
The result: Toledo 16, Arkansas 12.
It’s all about verbal spin during the State of Iowa Rivalry Week, in which stuff usually spins beyond control.
What else was discussed our weekly Cyclones Facebook Live session Wednesday? You’ve come to the right place.
TOPIC: In the trenches
Someone wondered how Iowa State counters a defensive line that Campbell called among the nation’s finest. Particularly, how do the Cyclones slow defensive ends Anthony Nelson, Parker Hesse and A.J. Epenesa?
That’s easy: Call some bubble screens, quick passes to a right end, get Hakeem Butler matched up with a linebacker, a draw play to David Montgomery, two blocking tight ends.
Change up the tempo of the offense. Keep an eye on the run-pass-option potential of true freshman quarterback Re-al Mitchell.
“Go back the last two or three years,” Campbell said. “When they needed to make a play and when good things have needed to happen — that defensive line has spearheaded things.”
TOPIC: Big game for Montgomery?
Maybe, but it could be a bigger game for Kyle Kempt and the passing game, if Iowa State’s line gives him time to pass — which could be a major “if.”
The Hawkeyes are inexperienced at cornerback. The starting duo has seven combined starts, and that includes two last Saturday against Northern Illinois.
If Kempt gets time to pass, it could be a good day not only for Butler, but also Matthew Eaton, Deshaunte Jones and maybe even Landen Akers, the fastest player on the team.
It starts, though, with the offensive protecting its passer.
Back to Montgomery: Iowa State needs him with at least 125 rushing yards.
TOPIC: Speaking of Iowa State’s offensive line ...
Where will Julian Good-Jones start?
The Cyclones’ best offensive lineman is listed as the starting left tackle; however, there’s a buzz that he’ll move back to center.
The junior started 13 games in the middle in 2017. He started 11 games in 2016 at right tackle.
He’s as versatile as they come, so don’t be shocked to see him at center on Saturday. Don’t be surprised if Sean Foster starts at left tackle. And don’t be surprised if redshirt freshman center Colin Newell plays, too.
As with most teams, it’s about getting the five best linemen on the field at the same time. And for Iowa State right now, that just might be Foster, Josh Mueller, Good-Jones, Josh Knipfel and Bryce Meeker.
TOPIC: Iowa State tight ends
This seems to always be a question: How many passes will they catch?
It’s a question that annoys tight ends coach Alex Golesh, but that’s OK. It beats not asking about his guys.
The guess here is that there will be times when Iowa State needs as many blockers on the field as it can get. There will be times, I’m guessing, when tight ends Chase Allen and Dylan Soehner play simultaneously. That’s common for some teams. It’s uncommon for Iowa State.
TOPIC: Big Game Saturday
It’s the biggest game of the year, or so it seems, from a fan standpoint, but for the teams?
Iowa’s biggest regular-season game is Sept. 22 at home against Wisconsin.
For Iowa State, it’s next Saturday at home against Oklahoma.
Saturday is significant. It’s a game State of Iowa recruits will be watching, but in the big picture?
Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at email@example.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.