In recent years, Iowa State has always had one receiver that has been a go-to target for whoever is taking the ball from
under center the shotgun. Whether it’s Allen Lazard, Hakeem Butler, or last year with Deshaunte Jones. All those guys were Mr. Reliable when it came to a 3rd down or a redzone play. This year, the Cyclone offense has been lacking that presence just a little bit. Xavier Hutchinson (33 catches, 384 yards, 3 touchdowns) has probably been the closest to filling that role of being Brock Purdy’s go-to as of late, but he just has not had enough gametime with Purdy for that to be solidified.
It was probably a safe bet coming into the season that Charlie Kolar would easily fill that spot. While Kolar has been nothing short of great, he just has not always been the main target for Brock Purdy. A key drop in the Oklahoma State game a few weeks ago definitely does not define what Charlie Kolar has done for the team this season, but it is plays like those that need to be made in order to keep winning football game. Controlling the controllables is something that Kolar is capable of doing, both in the run game and pass game. It’s almost impossible to say that he will make every block or catch every ball thrown his direction, but this week against Baylor might be one of the most important weeks to control the controllables.
Baylor’s rush defense is only better than Kansas’ in the Big 12, so his blocking presence on the edge will be very important this weekend. The best player on the defensive side of the ball for the Bears is junior linebacker, Terrel Bernard. Playing the MIKE spot, Bernard has tallied 47 tackles through just 4 games. Tom Manning might be drawing up some more outside runs or counters just to try and trick the young man out of La Porte, Texas. That is where Kolar is going to be vital in the run game.
His receiving game will prove to be just as important as his run blocking, as Baylor’s defensive backs and linebackers are nothing to brag about. If they put a corner on Kolar, expect that to be the mismatch of the century. If they put a linebacker on him, he is also going to get his by being quicker than these Baylor Linebackers.
Either way, his performance could prove to be vital this Saturday against Baylor (6 pm, FS1).