‘We’re gonna keep finding solutions’: Campbell not giving up on his youthful team


Daniel Jacobi II

Matt Campbell talks with a referee in the game against Baylor on Sept. 24

After a 14-11 loss to Kansas, Iowa State football is now 0-2 in the Big 12. Head coach Matt Campbell met with the media Tuesday afternoon to discuss what to look for moving forward.

Running back Jirehl Brock only played one carry against Kansas before being taken out due to an injury.

The redshirt junior who took the role of NFL athlete Breece Hall has done a “phenomenal job,” in the words of Campbell.

Aside from Brock, the Cyclones were also without a second running back, Cartevious Norton. The freshman has been out due to an injury.

“Those two guys being out does have some effect on the game,” Campbell said.

Nonetheless, Campbell said he still believes in the rest of his team to get the job done. Additionally, the status of both Brock and Norton will be discovered and discussed as the team practices Tuesday afternoon and the rest of the week.

Looking onto the offensive line, Campbell said he feels they’ve also played quite well and specifically at the early part of the season.

“I’m really proud of what that group has tried to do to steady the ship,” Campbell said.

The flow of the game is another aspect Campbell and his football program is working to improve on. Campbell said the flow of the game in the past few weeks has not been up to par.

“We’re gonna keep pounding away at it; we’re gonna keep finding solutions,” Campbell said.

The game flow is not just on one side of the ball; it involves everyone as a whole doing their part to be successful.

Campbell said some of the flaws in the flow are self-inflicted, which is a great opportunity for individual growth.

“Are we just going to bag who we are or what we’re about? Absolutely not,” Campbell said.

On the defensive side of the field, the defense is what helped keep the game against Kansas so tight and gave Iowa State opportunities to win the game.

Yes, fans and the team are upset and disappointed in the losses. However, Campbell reminded the media that when you look deeper into the individual players and what they are doing, players like Trevor Downing, O’Rien Vance and Kendell Jackson are making “big-time plays in critical moments.”

Looking forward to the matchup against Kansas State, quarterback Adrian Martinez has been dominant so far this season.

The Nebraska transfer has yet to throw an interception this season after throwing ten in 2021 as a Husker. Additionally, Martinez has nine rushing touchdowns so far this season.

“You’re looking at another elite runner, elite athlete at the quarterback position,” Campbell said.

The Iowa State special teams has struggled recently, specifically against the Jayhawks. Kicker Jace Gilbert missed three field goals, which is very unlike the freshman.

No matter what instances may occur in a game, Campbell can not stress the importance of having a young team and the growth they continue to make each game.

“Where the youth will show up the most is on special teams,” Campbell said.

Especially in the Big 12 conference, all pieces (offense, defense and special teams) need to play well to win.

As for Big 12 football as a whole, Campbell said it consists of good coaches, veteran players and some elite players.

“It’s [the score] not a lot to a little, those are really close football games across the board,” Campbell said.