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Taylor Mouser excited to continue building Iowa State’s offense

Jacob Rice
Freshman quarterback Rocco Becht shakes hands with head coach Matt Campbell after a 36-26 loss to Memphis in the 2023 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Dec. 29, 2023.

AMES — Spring football is right around the corner, and Taylor Mouser took to the podium for the first time as offensive coordinator.

After Nate Scheelhaase’s departure to the NFL, Mouser was selected as his successor after working his way up over an 11-year span with head coach Matt Campbell. Now that the football season is moving, Mouser is ready for whatever awaits him.

“To say that I’m excited doesn’t even scratch the surface of what it means to me to be the offensive coordinator here,” Mouser said.

For Campbell, it was a no-brainer to promote Mouser to offensive coordinator. The two had been close during their time at Toledo, which is why he brought Mouser onto the staff at Iowa State.

Mouser was the tight ends coach before taking over as offensive coordinator. During his time in the role, he saw multiple players develop into NFL-level athletes and more recently helped a true freshman take the lead role in the room.

“I think anytime you got a rising star within your ranks, you love to give those coaches more,” Campbell said. “You saw that happen with [Scheelhaase], and I think you’re seeing the same thing happen with [Mouser] right now.”

With the same scenario playing out with Scheelhaase, Campbell saw the instant success of the offense in the 2023 season and was not worried about Mouser’s ability to keep the program moving in the right direction.

Along with the belief from Campbell, Mouser’s close relationship with Scheelhaase will also help him going forward as he takes over the offensive duties.

“I learned a lot in the six years that [Scheelhaase] and I got to work together,” Mouser said. “He’s an incredible friend and mentor to me.”

After a rough 2022 season, the Cyclones turned the offense around in the back half of the 2023 season. Scheelhaase used his support system, which included Mouser, to figure out how to turn the offense around. Experiencing the highs and lows of that side of the ball has helped Mouser learn what works and what does not.

“Just soaking up the good offenses we’ve had and the bad ones that we’ve had and being able to learn,” Mouser said.

With the coaches set up around him, Mouser will have other strong minds to feed off of. No matter where ideas come from, Mouser said he is open to doing and implementing whatever he needs to for the success of the team.

“I will listen to whatever is going to help us score points and win football games. If one of our guys sees something cool on Twitter and sends it to me, if it fits what we’re doing, I’ll run it,” Mouser said.

The main goal for Mouser is not just to continue the success from the previous season. He wants the offense to truly cement itself as a strong point of the team.

“Give our offense an identity. Bring a culture to our offense,” Mouser said.

The biggest part of finding that identity will be working with quarterback Rocco Becht to further develop him and the offense as one.

When Scheelhaase took over as offensive coordinator, Becht’s close relationship with him was one of the driving forces behind Becht’s breakout season. When Scheelhaase left, it was hard on Becht to see someone he was close with leave.

“When I heard the news, I was genuinely upset,” Becht said.

Becht said he was happy for Scheelhaase, but it meant he would have to build a strong bond with whoever filled in. The bond between Scheelhaase and Becht came to fruition throughout the 2023 season.

Now, Becht has to work on building a bond with someone new. Lucky for Becht, it will be with someone he is familiar with.

Becht has gotten close with Mouser through his time at Iowa State and said the offense is in good hands.

“He believes in what we were doing last year, and he wants to succeed [in] those things that we were able to do,” Becht said.

Although Mouser was the tight ends coach, he was close with Becht because of his family ties.

“Rocco, he’s got some tight-end blood in him too,” Mouser said.

Becht’s dad played tight end, so he gets along with Mouser. The two frequently converse and spend time in the facilities.

Since Becht’s father resides in Ames, he frequents the quarterback room. If Mouser needs pointers on anything, he said he turns to Becht’s dad.

Not only that, Becht made it clear that the family genes passed on somewhat.

“I feel like I got some tight-end blood in me,” Becht said. “That comes out here and there.”

Becht, with no concern about Mouser’s ability to produce an offense, wants Mouser to remain the person he is and foster connections with everybody.

“What I want for [Mouser] is to be him,” Becht said.

Becht said that Mouser cannot just have a strong relationship with him or the tight ends. Mouser needs to build relationships with the entire offense.

Becht made it clear that there is no awkwardness between Mouser and anyone on the team. In his time at Iowa State, Mouser has made it a point to build rapport with everyone.

Campbell said Mouser, “is a unifier.”

Along with building relationships, Mouser plans to stretch the field more in the upcoming season. Given the success of the passing game, and the talent in the wide receiver and tight end rooms, moving the ball through the air will be a main point of emphasis for the offense going forward.

“I’m excited for what’s to come. I know he wants to throw the ball downfield a lot, so I’m excited about that,” Becht said.

When it comes down to it, Mouser is taking the reins, so it is up to him to continue building the offense.

“It’s his show, it’s his game and I’m gonna let him run it,” Becht said.

Mouser is up for the challenge. In his last staff meeting with Campbell in their Toledo days, Campbell told all the Toledo staff that “he wanted to do something that’s never been done before.”

“I think about that every day,” Mouser said.

So that is what Mouser wants to do. He wants to change things up at Iowa State. He wants the offense to be the star of the show.

“I want to score points. I want to win football games,” Mouser said.

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