Harrington: Why Campbell’s concerns to start the year are justified


Jacob Rice

Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell during the game against Ohio on Sept. 17

A dominant 43-10 win over Ohio left many Cyclone fans excited for the team’s 3-0 start.

However, this excitement was not shared by head coach Matt Campbell who expects the team to clean up a lot of areas of the game.

There are three major areas where I feel fans need to dial back their expectations until the issues are cleared up.

Ball Security

Campbell has talked about ball security after both the matchups against Iowa and Ohio.

The first person to talk about when addressing these concerns is Hunter Dekkers. While Dekkers has posted strong numbers this season with 746 passing yards and nine total touchdowns over three games, he has also had his fair share of turnovers. Dekkers has thrown three interceptions in addition to the fumble he had against Ohio.

Four turnovers is not a ton, but with Iowa being the only strong defense the team has played, Dekkers needs to be a bit more conservative with the ball.

Another area where ball security needs to improve is on special teams. Iowa blocked a pair of punts against the Cyclones.

Campbell said that if these areas are not cleaned up down the road, it will cause his team some problems.

“I see all the things that it’s going to cost us when we need it the most,” Campbell said. “We can be happy being 3-0. I’m not.”

This is an attitude that is shared by many of the Cyclones that spoke to reporters after the game against Ohio.

If the Cyclones are going to have success in Big 12 play, they need to make taking care of the football a top priority.

CyHawk Hurdle

The Cyclones got past an Iowa team that has given them troubles for years. With the win, Iowa State fans have been given a lot of hope for this season.

This game was a big win for Iowa State and its fans, but I think Campbell said it best when talking about the game afterward.

“From our end, if we let this shape us rather than define us, then we can use what we learned today and grow from it,” Campbell said.

This win needs to be used as a chapter in the season-long story rather than an ending. If this is the biggest moment of the season for Iowa State, then it was not a successful season for them.

This is something that Cyclone fans would likely agree on for the most part.

Way Too Early

My final point on this Iowa State season is that it is way too early to make massive determinations one way or another.

Big 12 play has not even started yet, and analysts and fans have already made decisions on the Cyclones and locked them into a spot they will finish.

I do not think it is fair to completely judge a college football team until it has gotten a couple of major conference opponents under its belt.

Saturday’s game against Baylor will show if Iowa State can truly hang around with the best this year.