Matt Campbell and his coaching staff preach details, execution, and “winning in the margins”. The Cyclones lost decisively in all 3 categories in Manhattan, falling to Kansas State 27-17.
The stats tell some of the story for the Cyclones. Brock Purdy completed 50% of his passes for 185 and 1 touchdown, and Breece Hall ran for 59 yards on 18 carries. And while the Cyclone defense held down Skyler Thompson all night, the Wildcats ran for over 200 yards, averaging nearly 5 yards per carry.
The game started in an ominous manner, as Joshua Youngblood returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, which surprised absolutely nobody.
From there, the Cyclone defense held the Cats on multiple possessions, giving the offense great field position each time. The offense, though, failed to move the ball at all, and eventually K-State took a 14-0 lead.
The Cyclones, through big plays by Tarique Milton and Breece Hall, would tie the game before halftime. And that, sadly, is where the positives started and stopped.
The Cyclones only managed to convert 2 back-to-back Thompson turnovers into 3 points, and Kansas State ran all over the Cyclones en-route to their 27-17 victory.
Mistakes ultimately doomed the Cyclone offense. The Iowa State suffered through multiple drops in key situations, untimely holding penalties, numerous false starts to create 3rd and long situations, and miscommunications on offense all night long. Brock Purdy was also never comfortable with the looks given by the Kansas State defense, and was seemingly bothered by the awful weather conditions.
Defensively, the Cyclones got stops at times, but were a complete disaster at stopping the run for the second game in a row. The linebackers would over-pursue and then under-pursue, each happening at the wrong times, and the defensive ends consistently lost outside contain.
In all, the positives are few and far between. Like we’ve seen all season, the Cyclones lost because of self-inflicted mistakes, blunders on special teams, untimely penalties, and an inability to get stops in key situations. Tonight, however, the effort and will-to-win didn’t seem to be there.
Ultimately, this makes for a disheartening end to what is undoubtedly a disappointing season. And a seven win season being a disappointment shows just how far this program has come under Matt Campbell.