Notebook: Finding a rhythm, Kolar returning home

Charlie Kolar celebrates a touchdown with Brock Purdy during Iowa State’s 59-7 win over Kansas on Oct. 2.

Sam Stuve

In a loss to Texas Tech, Iowa State was down early and trailed for the majority of the game by at least two scores.

For Iowa State, a team that likes to establish the run with one of the best running backs in not only the country, but in program history, Breece Hall, it had to basically abandon the run for a large chunk of the second half. This was due to the fact that it was down by three scores and needed offense quick.

But that deficit was erased, due in large part to the Iowa State offenses’ ability to adjust on the fly and the play of tight end Charlie Kolar.

Establishing a rhythm and adjusting on the fly

In the loss against Texas Tech, Iowa State’s offense had to play “out of system,” to put it in volleyball terms.

Basically what that means is that the offense had to go off the script and abandon its original game-plan.

This was due to the 17-point hole (38-21) it was in midway through the third quarter, which caused Iowa State to have to change it’s script.

“That’s (the process of adjusting on the fly) me saying, ‘listen it’s a different ballgame than what we planned for and we got to switch,’” head coach Matt Campbell said. “I think that kind of got said right after the first two series of the third quarter, and I said, ‘listen, we’re totally revamping how we’re going about this, you know, we’re gonna have to play fast, Brock, we’re it putting in your hands, you know, Tom, we’re gonna throw it open up the run game and we got to play fast, because we’re up against time.” 

This adjustment worked and Iowa State’s offense took off in the third quarter.  

After those two aforementioned third quarter drives that resulted in a punt and a interception, Iowa State scored on its final four drives and tied the game before Texas Tech put it away with a 62-yard game-winning field goal. 

“I give coach [Tom] Manning a lot of credit, I give our staff a lot of credit, because you had to flip the script really fast, I give Brock [Purdy] a lot of credit too because I think he was able to kind of really be in a great rhythm through the third and midway through the fourth quarter, that kind of gave us that ability to get right back in the football game and always had a chance to win it,” Campbell said. 

With just how potent the Oklahoma offense can be, whether its Spencer Rattler or Caleb Williams at quarterback, Iowa State could be in a similar position this coming Saturday in Norman. 

And against Texas Tech, part of the reason that Iowa State had the chance to make what would’ve tied for the second-largest comeback in school history, is because of the stellar play of somebody who is returning to his hometown this coming weekend, Charlie Kolar.

Kolar returning home after strong outing against Texas Tech

A large part of the Cyclones success in the last quarter and a half of their previous game can be attributed to the play of Kolar.

He caught two touchdowns in the second half and made some key third down catches.

Against Texas Tech, he totaled eight catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

Now looking to build off of his best performance of the season, he’ll do so in front of a road crowd that he is very familiar with. 

Every time the Oklahoma game comes around, the fact that Kolar is from Norman, Oklahoma, comes up. 

But playing against his hometown team isn’t a driving factor for him. He said playing Oklahoma isn’t a motivating factor for himself or the team.

“It’s always exciting to go back but like I said, with the Texas Tech loss, I think that as myself personally, and for this team, we shouldn’t need that type of motivation to go play hard. You know, if you’re implying that you can play harder against the team than you are from, more other teams, there’s something wrong with me or with that.” 

In the last three outings against Oklahoma, Kolar has had success. He’s caught 12 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

In the 2021 Big 12 Championship, Kolar caught six passes for 92 yards and one touchdown in the Cyclones loss to the Sooners.

Kolar went to high school at Norman North, which is about three and a half miles away from Gaylor Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Even if there’s not a bigger focus on beating Oklahoma, being from the area and all, Kolar said there’s more emotion to it.

“There’s a little more emotion but in terms of the way you prepare and play should be the same,” Kolar said.