Cyclones discuss Mike Rose’s status, team focus ahead of Mountaineers

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell looks up at the video-board during pre-game ahead of the Cyclones’ game with No. 8 Oklahoma State on Oct. 23.

James Powell

AMES- After picking up their season’s signature win (to date) against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Matt Campbell and his 5-2 Cyclone squad travel to Morgantown to face the Mountaineers of West Virginia on Saturday in hopes of continuing the winning ways.

Something particularly impressive about last week’s game was that it was arguably their most complete of the season so far.

The offense was humming as the Brock Purdy to Xavier Hutchinson connection was strong and only getting stronger. The defense was their usual stout selves in the second half, and even the special teams are becoming somewhat of a stable force as the season goes on.

Now they put their three-game win streak on the line against a Mountaineer team who has struggled in Big 12 play so far, posting just a 1-3 record in conference play.

Campbell discussed the trip to Morgantown as well as the health of senior linebacker Mike Rose when he spoke to the media Tuesday.

Cyclones prepare for another Big 12 road trip

A part of the Cyclones’ recent successes that can’t be ignored was the fact that two of their last three wins have come in the comforts of home. They made a short jaunt to Manhattan to take on Kansas State and now travel to West Virginia to take on their latest foe.

Iowa State’s first road game in Big 12 play did not go their way, as they fell to the Baylor Bears. They’re 1-1 in Big 12 play on the road this year and Campbell knows how his team plays Saturday will be reflected in how they prepare for such a road trip.

“I think, really, a week like this is on their shoulders,” Campbell said Tuesday. “How do you act, how do you respond and how do you continue to grow and get better?”

Traveling, and having their success travel with them, is something Iowa State did so well in their Big 12 run last year.

While their lone conference loss came on the road against Oklahoma State, that still means they went 3-1 on the road in Big 12 play, something that’s important if you want to be successful in conference play.

Xavier Hutchinson, who played a critical role in Iowa State’s win against the Cowboys, is ready for the challenge that a road trip like this brings.

“I really think that we just have to kind of prepare the same way we did for Oklahoma State,” Hutchinson said. “Every game is a big game and we have to treat every single team like they’re, you know, a top-ranked team… any team can beat any team any week.”

West Virginia may not have the wins and national rankings that Oklahoma State has, but they played a one-score game in Oklahoma and picked up a convincing win against Virginia Tech earlier this season.

Optimism for Mike Rose’s availability

It wasn’t all positive for the Cyclones in their upset win, as Mike Rose was banged up multiple times throughout the game and was not on the field for Iowa State’s final defensive series.

Rose plays an important role in his team’s defense on the field, as he leads the team with 51 total tackles through seven games. 

Campbell was optimistic about his senior linebacker’s condition and thinks it’ll be business as usual for Rose against the Mountaineers.

“I think he seemed really good [Monday], and I think we feel very confident that he’ll play in the football game,” Campbell said.

It goes without saying that a player like Rose, with his experience and veteran leadership, makes a difference for his team when he’s out there. He’s started all seven games so far this season, and started all 12 last year en route to a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honor.