Through three weeks, Iowa State’s offense has looked much different than it did a season ago. In the first three games of 2019, Brock Purdy combined to throw for 989 total passing yards and nine total touchdowns. This season has seen the Brocketship only accumulate 610 yards through the air and three total touchdowns through three contests. What has changed?
Through three games Purdy has attempted 20 less total passes than he did a season ago, as that number is even lower over the past two weeks with only 47 total passing attempts. The Gilbert, Arizona native’s completion percentage is also down through three games completing only 56.1% of his throws compared to last year’s 73.5% at this point. I am not saying these numbers to bash Purdy’s play, as he has came up clutch when needed in the past two games, rather I think this trend is telling us what Matt Campbell would like his offense’s philosophy to be in 2020.
Through three games in 2019, the Cyclones had obviously not realized that had a special running back on their hands with Breece Hall. The All-Big 12 running back has been force fed early this season with 19+ touches in every single game. This has been well deserved, as Hall has eclipsed 118 scrimmage yard in every contest. This early season trend shows us that Iowa State will look to establish the run early and often this season rather than leaning on the nations fifth leading passer a season ago, while he is throwing to a very inexperienced WR group.
If you remove some silly first game mistakes from the Cyclones’ opening game against the Ragin’ Cajuns, this run heavy approach could have very well led them to a 3-0 record. Now they’re in the drivers seat to compete for a Big 12 Championship. We’re yet to see if Purdy’s play should be a concern due to the offense rolling down the field on Breece Hall’s back, but this week might see on opportunity for Purdy to be unleashed..
Iowa State will be taking on the Red Raiders of Texas Tech this week, which will likely prove to be a great chance for the Cyclones’ passing attack to get back on track. Tech has allowed 345 air yards per contest along with 43 points per game, so ISU will likely have a classic Big 12 shootout on its hands. If Brock Purdy is able to get back to his usual ways, I personally do not know of a team that could slow down the Cyclones offense in the Big 12 conference this season.