Cyclones get “over the hump” in first Big 12 win over West Virginia


Jacob Rice

Dekkers gives high-fives to the fans after 31-14 win over West Virginia.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

AMES — With every ounce of momentum trickling away by the game, Iowa State football was able to get back in the win column with a 31-14 win over West Virginia.

This marked the team’s first win in Big 12 play after an 0-5 conference start.

One of the players that was in need of the confidence boost the most was quarterback Hunter Dekkers. Throughout the beginning of Big 12 play, Dekkers had struggled with efficiency and turnovers.

Dekkers completed 24 of 36 passes for 219 yards, to go along with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions.

While this was by no means a perfect outing for Dekkers, but in a game where the defense plays that well, he needed to take care of the ball and he did just that.

Dekkers said the offense has not lost confidence through the ups and downs of the season.

“Not at all,” Dekkers said. “Today shows that. I mean we lost five games in a row, and we come out and score 31 points.”

Head coach Matt Campbell felt that the team was right on the brink of winning some big games so far this season, and that they just needed to back it up by getting over the hump.

The team believed in themselves; however, it was tough to keep high confidence when the wins were not rolling through.

“We just needed to get over the hump of doing that with consistency for 60 minutes,” Campbell said. “That was the best we have done in all three phases.”

Dekkers has found success throwing to Xavier Hutchinson all season long, and that was once again the case on Saturday.

Dimitri Stanley battles for possession against West Virginia on Nov 5 (Tyler Coe)

Hutchinson caught 10 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. This gave him over half of Dekkers’ passing yards, in addition to breaking his own single-season Iowa State receptions record, which was previously 83 catches. There are still three games to play in the season.

“I probably haven’t played to my capability every time each week,” Hutchinson said.“For them to believe in me every week single, it’s hard not to believe in yourself when you go out there.”

Campbell had been preaching to the team to never get too low during the low points, which a couple of Cyclones discussed after Saturday’s game.

Both Hutchinson and Dekkers said they can carry this over to next week if they keep doing the things they did this week in practice. The work habits are what they believe will put them over the top.

Hutchinson also mentioned that one of the biggest confidence boosters for the team is that no one was sweating out the game in the final five minutes.

“To go out there and kind of put away a team, man it feels great,” Hutchinson said.