Iowa State players, coaches react to Alamo Bowl bid

Head Coach Matt Campbell yells during the game against Drake University on Dec. 1, 2018 at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones won 27-24.

Aaron Marner

Bowl season is always a new challenge when it rolls around each December.

Iowa State found out Sunday afternoon it would be playing in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28 in San Antonio, Texas. The Cyclones will take on No. 12 Washington State of the Pac-12.

Coach Matt Campbell said he doesn’t know much about Washington State.

“Nothing,” Campbell said. “I know coach [Mike] Leach is the coach there, I have a lot of respect for coach Leach.

“Other than that I don’t know anything.”

The Cyclones and Cougars have never played each other before. Iowa State has never played in the Alamo Bowl, while Washington State won the 1994 Alamo Bowl over Baylor, 10-3, in its only appearance in the Alamo Bowl.

“I’m incredibly excited and happy we got this bowl,” said redshirt junior wide receiver Hakeem Butler, who played high school football in Texas. “A lot of people had their doubts. For us to do what we did on the back end, it was incredible. This team is an incredible team so I wouldn’t have expected anything less.”

Texas Cyclones excited for San Antonio trip

Iowa State has a number of prominent players from Texas on its roster this season.

Butler and redshirt senior cornerback Brian Peavy expressed their excitement to play in their home state.

“There was a lot of excitement,” Peavy said. “That’s one of the biggest bowls the Big 12 has to offer.

“A lot of my family member will be able to come up and see me play.”

Peavy hails from Houston, which is about a three-hour drive from San Antonio.

Butler also said he would have friends and family in attendance.

“We get to get out of this weather here and put some shorts on,” Butler said with a smile.

Preparing for Washington State

As Campbell mentioned, the team isn’t too familiar with Washington State’s program.

One exception is redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Kempt, who was a member of the Oregon State Beavers in 2013 and 2014. While Kempt didn’t play in a regular season game for Oregon State, he saw Leach and the Cougars up close twice.

“The air raid [comes from] this conference, so we’ll see a lot of similarities in that, I’d say,” Kempt said. “They had a phenomenal year too, 7-2 in the Pac-12, that’s really hard to do.”