Three Big Takeaways: Campbell takes the fall after another week without offense


Daniel Jacobi II

Matt Campbell checks the scoreboard in 10-9 loss to Kansas State on Oct. 8.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

AMES — Another week of stagnant offense came and went, as Iowa State football dropped the Farmageddon rivalry against Kansas State by a score of 10-9 on Saturday.

This is the first time that Iowa State has started Big 12 with an 0-3 record in the Matt Campbell era, and the team’s flaws are apparent. For the third time this season, the Cyclones were held to 11 or fewer points.

Here are the three big takeaways from the loss.

Stagnant offense once again

The Iowa State offense has had no shortage of struggles, and it struggled mightily on Saturday. 

Picking up just nine points on three field goals from kicker Jace Gilbert, there are now a lot of questions surrounding offensive coordinator Tom Manning and the rest of the Cyclone offense.

The biggest struggle of all came when Iowa State had a pair of drives begin around midfield, needing just a field goal either time to take the lead and potentially win the game. 

The first of these drives resulted in a punt after picking up just a few yards over the course of three downs. When the defense came up big and earned the team another chance, the Cyclones picked up just three yards on four downs.

Jirehl Brock said that the most frustrating part of the day for the offense was that despite knocking themselves out of scoring drives on multiple occasions, they were just a few yards from being able to take the lead twice but were unable.

“Critical points in the game where we just didn’t have the precision to execute,” Brock said.

Run stuffed

The Iowa State rushing attack has been a weakness of the team during this three-game losing streak. The Cyclones have been outrushed in each of the last three games to kick off Big 12 play.

The Cyclones tallied 24 carries for 78 rushing yards as a team on the game. The leading rusher for the Cyclones was Jirehl Brock with 13 carries for 33 yards.

Brock, who has been battling injuries for the previous couple of weeks, expressed his frustration after the game as he was limited to just pass protection for much of the second half.

Campbell took some of the fall for the rushing struggles as well, saying that he plays a big role in the offensive room.

“Winners do lose, but losers hide,” Campbell said. “I’m not hiding from it.”

Defensive masterclass not enough

Colby Reeder sacks Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez on Oct. 8. (Jacob Rice)

Kansas State was up 7-6 late in the second quarter. Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez was able to navigate the pocket and send a strike downfield. Malik Knowles caught this pass and took it 68 yards for what appeared to be a touchdown.

Just as he was about to break the plane, Cyclones safety Anthony Johnson Jr. punched the ball loose into the endzone, forcing a touchback and possession for Iowa State.

Campbell mentioned after the game that he believes that play was one of the best in the school’s history.

Defensive lineman Will McDonald also tallied a pair of sacks. The senior now has 32.5 career sacks, just a half sack behind Von Miller for the Big 12 career record.

These great defensive performances went to waste, as the Cyclones were unable to find the endzone this week.