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Top 10 Matt Campbell Era Wins: #6 2018 vs West Virginia

Brock Purdy’s first start and a dominant defensive effort led the Clones to a win over a Top 10 team.

Football season is rapidly approaching. The WRNL staff is getting excited. As we head towards the beginning of the 7th season with Matt Campbell as the head coach at Iowa State, we wanted to look back and rank our top 10 wins from the first 6 seasons. To do this, the staff was polled to give their personal 1-10 rankings. Win #1 was worth 10 points, #2 worth 9 points, and on down. The games that earned the most “points” are what we will look back on throughout this series. The #6 game is Brock Purdy’s first career start at home against West Virginia in 2018.


Iowa State came into 2018 with a lot of momentum, fresh off an 8 win campaign that included some massive wins (some of which are still to be covered in this series). But the season had gotten off to a horrendous start, from the wash out against South Dakota State, starting QB Kyle Kempt getting hurt in the CyHawk game, and a 1-3 record. Then came the freshman QB Brock Purdy from Arizona who lit the world on fire in his first game in Stillwater. The fanbase still had a lot of questions, as he’d never started a game and his first would come against the 6th ranked team in the county, with an explosive offense of their own.



Despite the defense getting to Will Grier early, West Virginia actually got off to an early lead after hitting a deep pass for the opening score. Iowa State finally settled in from there. David Montgomery started his career night with a 40 yard run on a 4th & 1 early in the game. Brock Purdy capped off the drive with a pass to a wide open Hakeem Butler to get Iowa State on the board. Montgomery continued to churn out yards and scored an easy one to give Iowa State a 13-7 lead late in the 1st quarter (we missed the XP). From there, it felt like Iowa State was just perfectly executing their game plan. Purdy was efficient, and young TE Charlie Kolar got into the end zone on a crossing pattern to put us up 20-7.

Because it’s an Iowa State game, special teams had to rear their head. West Virginia blocked a field goal and ran it back for a touchdown to make things uncomfortable, and the lead was only 20-14 at halftime. The 3rd quarter went by without any scoring, but Iowa State’s defense was taking over.

Brock Purdy hit Deshaunte Jones for a leaping TD to increase the lead, and a 2 point conversion made it 28-14. The defense pinned their ears back from there, keeping up the relentless pressure. The next WVU possession ended with D’Andre Payne intercepting an underthrown pass. Sacks followed from Mike Rose, Braxton Lewis, and probably Heacock himself. Jaquan Bailey chased Grier around to a safety to make it a 30-14 game, and David Montgomery iced the final 4 minutes of the game to cap off a dominant effort. Fans rushed the field. Dana Holgorson complained. Everyone went home happy.


  1. The entire defense (7 sacks, 9 TFLs, 1 INT, 1 safety, 1 miserable Will Grier)
  2. RB David Montgomery (29 carries, 189 yards, 1 TD)
  3. QB Brock Purdy (18/25, 254 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 39 rushing yards)


  1. Spencer Benton starts the sack party, followed by Greg Eisworth for a huge loss
  2. Purdy hits a wide open Hakeem Butler for the first Cyclone TD of the night
  3. Iowa State takes their first lead on a walk in TD for David Montgomery
  4. Purdy to Deshaunte Jones for a long TD and a 2 point conversion to give Iowa State a 14 point lead
  5. DeAndre Payne picks off Will Grier
  6. Even more sacks, the last of which leads to an ISU safety to make it 30-14


In many ways, this was the game that jump started the run of success for the most recent senior class. This was the first time we pulled out the all black uniform combo. Under the lights, with a freshman QB that most fans couldn’t name 8 days earlier, against the #6 team in the nation, what more could we ask for? What makes this game the most memorable is the absolute master class put on by DC Jon Heacock. Will Grier had legit Heisman buzz coming into this one, and West Virginia had been scoring in bunches all year to this point. Outside of one drive early, the only points West Virginia scored were on a blocked field goal. Otherwise, Grier was made miserable all night. We racked up 7 sacks and honestly it felt like a lot more.

Jack Trice Stadium was an electric factory. What I remember most about being there in person was the roars of the crowd from every successive sack and every 10+ yard run by David Montgomery. Once everyone’s nerves were settled, the party was on. Brock Purdy played as well as we could’ve asked for. Despite the final margin, this game was never close. The field storming at the end was the icing on a perfect night of Iowa State football. Dana Holgorson complaining about “unprofessional fans” afterward only made it better. -Austin Keeney


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