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3 Things We Learned from the West Virginia Game

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Things could have gone better yesterday.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Iowa State Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Netten Will Be Missed

With Iowa State’s inability to execute in the red zone, Netten was our point system yesterday. Without him, the score would have been uglier than it was. Iowa State’s career leader in points turned out to be one hell of a kicker during his run in Ames. Considering the inconsistency that we’ve had at that position prior to his arrival, his performance has been a treat. Netten finished his career with 300 points, 79.4% of kicks made for his career, and he also broke the record for percentage of kicks made in a single season at 94% this year.

Consistent kickers are hard to come by at any level. I am not sure what Chris Francis brings to the table as a placekicker or if the staff has their eyes set on a new one via recruitment. All I know is Cole Netten has been a safety net on special teams that will be missed next season.

David Montgomery Made His Case to Start Next Season

Minus his big fumble in the second half after a long run, David Montgomery made his case to be the started in game one next season. As the season went on and Warren’s injury issues and struggles grew, Montgomery put his best foot forward. He finished the day with 21 carries and 141 yards on the ground. With the offense struggling most of the day in the red zone and penalties hurting them, he was a bright spot.

Montgomery was running hard and making plays with his great reads and toughness. The fumble after the 46 yard run should not be a total negative, as he carried about 2 WVU defenders on his back for 10 yards.

Given a full offseason under the coaching staff, Montgomery should be ready for a big year in 2017. We will see where the other running backs fall into the rotation, but I expect Montgomery to get a lot of the carries next season.

Defensive Depth Is a Major Need

I think this is becoming a broken record situation, but defensive depth is a major need for next season. With departures before the season even began, Campbell and his staff were left with inexperienced players, especially in the front seven. This again was a glaring issue against West Virginia.

Iowa State just doesn’t have the depth that can compete at every position after rotating a few groups in and out. Once the first team front seven departed, WVU made huge plays on the ground. (Not to mention a few long bombs through the air, but Iowa State’s secondary has been their strength all year. WVU just has a ton of speed on the outside.)

Campbell has shown a major emphasis on recruiting the defensive side of the ball. I expect him to continue to make a push for more top-tier defenders. If he has to continue to trot out a defense with no depth, his time in Ames is going to be tough, even for a coach of his caliber.

Things are on the rise, Cyclone fans. Stay optimistic this offseason.