Campbell focused on taking advantage of opportunities against Baylor


Tyler Coe

Matt Campbell walks along the sidelines against Ohio on Sept. 17.

Hailey Dohnal, Assistant Sports Editor

Iowa State football is 3-0 for the first time since the Matt Campbell era began. Nonetheless, Campbell said in his post-game interview that that record was not satisfactory enough for him. 

On Saturday, Big 12 play will officially begin for the Cyclones as they face the Baylor Bears. Baylor won the Big 12 championship in 2021 and are 2-1 on the season after they lost to BYU in overtime Sept. 10. 

As for Campbell, he described the Baylor team as elite, specifically in their speed. 

“They can run and strike, and they’re physical,” Campbell said. 

As for the Big 12 in general, there are great teams across the board in the conference. 

Defensive back Myles Purchase has become a potential breakout player for the Cyclones. The sophomore’s most successful game so far this season was against Iowa when he had five tackles. Purchase has a total of 10 tackles on the season so far.

Campbell said Purchase comes ready to compete and, because of that, is one of the reasons that allowed Purchase to start on the field as a true freshman. 

“He’s got those redeemable traits that you don’t have to lead Myles, Myles leads himself to become the best,” Campbell said. 

As for the defensive group in general, it will come down to discipline and being able to tackle against the Bears. Baylor’s defense is very well coached, Campbell said.

Jirehl Brock was not seen as much in the game against Ohio; however, Campbell said he works to rotate guys and keep them fresh in order to see what the best combinations can be on the field. 

Being able to adapt and figure out who each team is before playing can be difficult at times. 

“Every game has got a certain flow,” Campbell said. 

While many players have come to impress Campbell, he said he still focuses on who is taking advantage of the reps being given and who a player is in practice.

“The more you can earn trust in our program, the more of an opportunity we are going to try to give you,” Campbell said. 

While it took quarterback Hunter Dekkers three years to gain the starting position, Campbell said he feels Dekkers took the opportunity behind Brock Purdy, now with the San Francisco 49er’s in the NFL, to grow and learn how to become a college quarterback and prepare for the game. 

“He didn’t waste those opportunities; he used those opportunities to be prepared for the moment,” Campbell said. 

From day one, speed and the development of speed have been critical for Campbell and the Cyclones as that is an important aspect of the Big 12 conference. From both sides of the field, the ability to run and run well brings an extra challenge to opposing teams. 

Even with a ways to go in the football season, Campbell saw “astronomical” growth in his youthful team. Leadership has been important in the growth pattern, and playing against Baylor will be another time to show the growth that occurred so far. 

As for a player update, Campbell said Darren Wilson will not be available this week, but the hope is that he will be back against Kansas. Dimitri Stanley, Cartevious Norton, Beau Freyler and Jake Remsburg are all looking to be healthy to play against the Bears.