NOTEBOOK: Matt Campbell reflects on an upset weekend in Oklahoma

Iowa State quarterback Jacob Park makes an adjustment before the snap in the second half against Iowa. The Cyclones were defeated, 44-41.

Brian Mozey

Iowa State shocked the country with a 38-31 upset last weekend against No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. It was Iowa State’s first win against the Sooners since 1990.

As coach Matt Campbell came into the press conference this morning, his attitude and appearance looked like any other Monday. He addressed the mindset of the Cyclones after the historic win.

“I don’t know if I thought it was a big game on my end,” Campbell said. “It was the next game on our schedule and I think that’s what our kids thought as well.”

After the weekend, Campbell voiced his opinion on a couple of topics on the Iowa State football team.

Jacob Park and the quarterback situation

Coming into the press conference, the updated depth chart for the Kansas game showed the number one quarterback being Jacob Park or Kyle Kempt. A new change from the past four weeks as Park has been the starter on the depth chart for the past six weeks.

Redshirt junior quarterback Jacob Park didn’t travel with Iowa State this weekend to Oklahoma because of personal health concerns. Campbell didn’t go into much depth about the situation with Park.

As for his return, Campbell is still unknown about this weekend or the coming weeks. Until Park’s return, Kempt is the starting quarterback with Zeb Noland being the backup on the depth chart.

He said Park is day-to-day with those personal health concerns and mentioned Park is not active as of right now. Campbell clarified later in the press conference.

“The clarity of [Park’s situation] is what was said on Friday,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to go into it any more than that. Is he still a member of our team? Yes. Is he still around the team? Yes. Anything more than that I don’t think is fair to him.”

Kyle Kempt, Joel Lanning recognized in weekly honors

Iowa State had some awards given out to a couple of its players this morning as Kyle Kempt was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and Joel Lanning was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

Kempt had his first start of his Cyclone career last Saturday against Oklahoma and went 18-for-24 with 343 passing yards and three passing touchdowns in the win. He also led the Cyclones to four drives that were 70 or more yards in the game.

Lanning played both sides of the field as linebacker and as quarterback throughout the entire game. Defensively, he recorded eight tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery. Offensively, he had nine carries for 35 yards.

Lanning is currently ranked sixth in the country for tackles per game with 10.8, with his most dominant performance coming against Texas on Sept. 28 with 20 tackles.

Offensive line aren’t the only ones who block… wide receivers too

Campbell has six wide receivers he can depend on to perform at their highest game in and game out.

The success to handling six key wide receivers has been the attitude of unselfish play they’ve brought into practice and during game days. The key to some of the big plays on offense for Iowa State last Saturday was the ability to block downfield for running back David Montgomery or a fellow wide receiver.

Campbell used Deshaunte Jones as an example after Jones made a key block on one of the Oklahoma cornerbacks, so Marchie Murdock could have a lane to score a touchdown.

“That’s a lot of credit to coach [Bryan] Gasser,” Campbell said. “That’s the foundation of attitude and effort that he brought to this group day one. Then the buy-in value of these guys, unselfish as they are.

“A lot times we talk about wide receivers catching the ball, but you’ve got to be unselfish. That was a huge piece of the game in my opinion was our ability to block downfield.”

David Montgomery a threat running and catching

David Montgomery has shown has abilities as a running back to find the gaps in the defense and take advantage of them for touchdowns or long running plays. He’s rushed for 410 yards with five touchdowns including one against Oklahoma last weekend.

What some people don’t know is his success as a catching receiver in the backfield for screen plays and other designed plays. Montgomery has caught 20 passes for 203 yards this season and hasn’t scored, but Campbell is enjoying his continued work to becoming a better receiver.

“If you’re talking great backs, they have to do three things very well: you’ve got to be able to catch, you’ve got to be able to run it and you’ve got to be able to block,” Campbell said. “That’s how you stay on the field. You want a complete player and that’s where [David Montgomery’s] value is so high.”

Campbell compared Montgomery to some of the great running backs he coached like Adonis Thomas, David Fluellen and, a familiar name with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kareem Hunt.

Injury Updates

Campbell said the team was fortunate for only two minor injuries last weekend in Willie Harvey and Robby Garcia.

Harvey, a redshirt junior linebacker, didn’t play in the Oklahoma game because of a sore hamstring. He injured it in practice on Oct. 1 and didn’t travel with the team last weekend, so he could rest and heal.

Campbell said he ran in practice yesterday and is tagging him as probable for the upcoming weekend against Kansas.

Garcia, a redshirt senior offensive lineman, had a scare of an injury against the Sooners when he had his legs cut from underneath him. He returned later in the game and Campbell is confident he’ll be back to play against Kansas.

As for the rest of the regular season, Campbell is looking at each game that’s ahead of him and not going into the future. His next focus is on beating the Jayhawks at Jack Trice on Saturday.

The team has understood that concept and has enacted upon it for the future of the season, so they can keep their focus and not make Oklahoma the pinnacle of the season.

“If you want to be good and have a chance to sustain success, you just keep going and keep attacking where you’re failing,” Campbell said. “Success comes from the ability to follow that process. Hopefully we’ll have enough leadership to make sure that happens.”