‘That’s on me’: Campbell takes the blame for season struggles


Tyler Coe

Dimitri Stanley goes in for a catch against West Virginia on Nov. 5

Iowa State football head coach Matt Campbell spoke to the media Tuesday about the team’s struggles and how they are addressing them moving forward.

It’s the final home game of the year for the Cyclones, meaning that it is Senior Day.

The Cyclones have 21 players listed as seniors on the roster, including some core players such as Will McDonald IV, Anthony Johnson Jr., O’Rien Vance, Xavier Hutchinson and Trevor Downing.

Campbell said that this senior class has kept the program in the position that it is in, especially those on the defensive side of the ball. The leadership from Johnson and Vance, along with elite play from McDonald, have propelled this defense to the place they want to be.

“A year ago on defense, we were in a tough spot,” Campbell said. “We weren’t in a great place. It has been one of the greatest leadership jobs I’ve ever witnessed as a head football coach.”

The 2022 season has not been a great one in the win column, with a current 4-6 record, but the culture from the breakout season is still there. When asked what the Cyclones need to do to get back to where they were, Campbell said he would have an answer once the season is over and he has some time to reflect.

“That’s going to be a really great question to ask in two or three weeks,” Campbell said.

Despite not having the answer quite yet, Campbell has not shied away from any of the blame all season long. He mentioned

Tuesday that the process has not been bad, and that’s a credit to the players, and now he has to do his part to change the outcome.

“The outcome, that’s on me,” Campbell said. “That’s on the head football coach.”

Campbell has always preached the importance of culture, doing so again Tuesday. Campbell said that winning is what comes along with building a culture rather than winning driving the culture.

“It’s like a great high school football coach,” Campbell said. “You want to create a daily culture that kids say ‘I feel confident and safe, and I can grow to be the best version of me.’”

One major concern for a Cyclone offense that has already been inconsistent is the uncertainty in the weather forecast. Ames already received multiple inches of snow Tuesday, and if the weather continues to hover around freezing temperatures, the field could be sloppy.

The next game for the Cyclones will come against Texas Tech at 6 p.m. Saturday in Ames. The game can be watched on FS1. After this game, the Cyclones will play their final regular season game against TCU on Nov. 26 in Fort Worth, Texas.