After a heart-breaking 45-42 defeat to Baylor on Saturday, coach Matt Campbell sat down with the media to touch on the progress that is being made, and the outlook for Oklahoma State this upcoming weekend.
The biggest outlier that we saw on display Saturday was confidence. It showed immensely – and not only on the field, but on the sidelines, and it made its way into the stands. Iowa State has improved tremendously from week one to now.
“That’s the one thing that came out of that game (confidence),” said Campbell. “If we do these things well, that gives us a chance to be successful and win football games. Now the next growth period, we know we can compete, but what’s it take to win the game? It’s those 5 or 6 plays that dictate the outcome of the game, and unfortunately we didn’t make enough of those plays down the stretch to go win the football game.”
Some of those plays were in the fourth quarter, as ISU was outgained 258-7, and allowed Baylor to score 17 unanswered, including a game-winning field goal as the clock ticked to zero.
The media mentioned lapses on the part of officiating, but Campbell didn’t want anything to do with blaming the boys in stripes.
He was asked if there was video evidence sent into the Big 12 offices.
“I haven’t sent those in,” said Campbell. “That’s why you have to go win the game. You can’t leave it to judgment.”
“I’m not losing any sleep over it. What I’m losing sleep over is why we didn’t go and win the game.”
Hey – we can kinda sorta run the ball
Another thing to not worry about is the play of Mike Warren and vast improvement of the offensive line. Even with the loss of both starting tackles (Jake Campos and Jaypee Philbert), this unit has started to gel recently.
In fact, ISU has increased their rushing totals every game so far this season, going from 51 in their first stanza against UNI, to a season-high 204 last week.
“I think our biggest challenge – as we continue to grow, is our guys up front settling in,” said Campbell. “I think we are starting to get a lot more consistent play. Dealing with injuries and suspensions have stymied our growth, (but) those guys (new starters) have made a lot of growth.”
“My philosophy is always running the football is the essence to success.”
Even after a career day for Joel Lanning, the coaching staff will continue to play both quarterbacks moving forward.
Unless they are flinging it as efficient as Lanning was on Saturday.
“He (Joel) was playing at such a high rate. You have to go with your gut, and keep the flow of the game going,” Campbell said.
“And I look at (quarterback) efficiency in two ways. Number one in moving the offense - he (Joel) was able to move his feet and move the ball with his arm. And number two – third-down conversion rate. That was the most efficient I’ve seen Joel play.”
In fact, Lanning completed 17 of his first 20 passes, and ISU converted on 10 of their first 11 third and fourth downs. That is about as perfect as they come.
Campbell hates that phrase. He looks at things a bit differently.
“We don’t talk about what happened in the past. We talk about getting better, one day at a time,” Campbell exclaimed.
“I came in here yesterday (Sunday) and I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I was going to find. I found a bunch of kids that were ready to come and compete, and we had a great practice.”
“The reality of it is – ‘What’s our character?’ How do we control our attitude and effort, are we getting better, and that’s what matters to me.”
“The scoreboard will take care of itself, it always does.”
Depth Chart Update
It sounds like heralded freshman Chase Allen will more than likely redshirt this season. Coach Campbell said he would rather “play a young man too late than too early.”
As far as injuries go – nothing significant. Backup defensive end J.D. Waggoner is banged up and is questionable, and linebacker Bobby McMillen is also questionable for the Oklahoma State game.
Jaypee Philbert is still not listed on the depth chart.
The Cyclones face off against Oklahoma State on the road Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m.