Notebook: Campbell, Leach hold joint press conference


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell answers questions during a press conference Dec. 27.

Aaron Marner

SAN ANTONIO — With just one day left before Iowa State and Washington State face off in the Valero Alamo Bowl, both head coaches came together for a joint press conference to discuss their teams.

Clutch quarterbacks set for battle

Iowa State freshman quarterback Brock Purdy and Washington State redshirt senior Gardner Minshew have been two of the best quarterbacks in the nation when the game is on the line. According to Pro Football Focus, both Purdy and Minshew are in the top four nationally when it comes to passer rating in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“I think that goes back to what I talked about with Brock in terms of his preparation and detail,” said Iowa State coach Matt Campbell. “I think for a young guy, understanding the system and really working hard off the field to be able to know what to do in critical moments, critical detail, be able to execute, I think that’s a lot of his maturity off the field that’s allowed him to have that kind of success.”

Minshew has made big headlines this season in his first year with Washington State. He enters the Alamo Bowl with 4,477 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Washington State coach Mike Leach said the process of finding a quarterback who can be successful, like Minshew has been this season, is simple.

“Really it’s remarkably simple: find somebody that’s accurate, and don’t compromise accuracy,” Leach said. “Everybody says all he has to do is work on his accuracy. That’s where you start. You don’t work on accuracy, you start with a guy that’s accurate. Now you want a guy that can make good decisions. You can impact that as a coach.”

The passing battle between Purdy and Minshew could lead to a high-scoring affair on Friday.

Cyclones take over San Antonio

San Antonio has been colored Cardinal and Gold this week, as Iowa State fans have flocked en masse to Iowa State’s bowl destination.

The pep rally on Wednesday took place on the riverwalk as players and the bands floated by on boats. The vast majority of fans in attendance were Cyclone fans, and Iowa State athletics director said 25,000 Cyclone fans are expected.

“The people I’ve talked to, the visual of it was quite impressive,” Leach said. “The boats full of players, then just the way the whole thing appeared and came across with the spirit squads and all of that. I heard from the front side it was very impressive.”