AMES – Last in the Big 12 most statistical categories with Iowa State and ranked 110thth When judging nationally, there’s a natural tendency to wonder if there’s anything structurally or philosophically wrong with the Cyclones’ offense.
However, that’s not what coach Matt Campbell says when he watches a film made by his team.
“So you see an inability to function,” Campbell said of a hypothetical fundamentally flawed group. “That’s not our problem. Where we are offensive, it was the inconsistency.”
While the piece was contradictory, Iowa State’s explanation for it was not.
“It’s not the call. It’s not the game. They’re all there,” Campbell said. “It’s the execution of it. These are things that always lead to contradictions. That’s the hard part and the frustrating part.
“Some of these things are easily done with simple execution. We just didn’t do it at the moment and that’s the fight at the moment.
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The struggle was perhaps most evident last week when Iowa State, which will take on No. 4 TCU on Saturday (3 p.m.; FOX), with two field goals missed and, most worryingly, being 1-of-5 into the red zone went pair turnovers on downs where the offense repeatedly didn’t gain the yard or two needed to extend the drive or the score.
“We’ve done a lot of good things,” said wide receiver Jaylin Noel. “But obviously those good things were overshadowed by the few negatives that kept us from winning the game.
“It wasn’t the play call. It was just us running the game, being able to pick up the right blocks and completing our right tasks to be able to run this game.
Years of lack of execution has resulted in the state of Iowa scoring the last goal during the Big 12 game. In fact, the ratings stats are worse than that. Iowa State scores 34% less than the league’s second-worst offense. The nearly 11 points that separate the state of Iowa (20.7) into 10th and West Virginia (31.2) in ninth place is larger than the difference between the Mountaineers and the Big 12’s highest-scoring offense, TCU (39.5).
Iowa State is also last overall and rushing offense in the Big 12. The Cyclones are fourth in passing offense.
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“It’s still not where we need it to be to win football games,” Campbell said. “I’m not naive. We’re not naïve and that’s something we’re pushing further and trying to find the right mix.”
Certainly a big part of the problem for Iowa State is a sanctification of depth and talent that comes when you lose the most successful quarterback in school history (Brock Purdy), one of the top three running backs of all time in the program (Breece Hall). maybe the best tight ending the school has ever seen (Charlie Kolar).
This has led to many new faces across the field at critical points.
“There are 11 people on the field at one time, and everyone has a job,” Noel said. “If a person messes up, the game probably won’t work. It is very important that everyone is able to do their job properly and be on the same page.
“Knowing that it’s the execution part, knowing it’s something we can fix and hold ourselves accountable for is in a way a good thing because we know we can go back and fix it. ”
Despite all the struggles and inconsistencies, the State of Iowa is confident it’s close to realizing more of its offensive potential.
“I’m just cleaning up these little things because we’re not far away,” said quarterback Hunter Dekkers. “We’re just a small detail away from blowing up teams.”
Travis Hines covers Iowa State University esports for the Des Moines Register and the Ames Tribune. Contact him at [email protected] or (515) 284-8000. fFollow him at @TravisHines21.