116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Iowa State has a top-flight football coach in Matt Campbell.
Just look at all the jobs he gets linked to as soon as one opens up.
The Cyclones have the talent of a top-10 team — they finished in the top 10 to end last season and returned nearly everyone.
Now, No. 14 Iowa State (1-1) needs to play like it has all the pieces it needs as it travels to Las Vegas to play UNLV (0-2) at 9:30 p.m. CT Saturday (CBSSN).
“Man, if there’s not a sense of urgency now, then when does it come?” Campbell said. “Why is that sense of urgency not there? Why have I not gotten that out of us? I don’t know, but I haven’t done a great enough job to get that done. Do I think we’ve got great guys? Yes. Do I think our sense of urgency is there? I haven’t seen us make that play.
“And to be honest with you, through the first two football games, when have we made that play? When have we had a sense of urgency? When have you seen us — I think (Xavier Hutchinson’s) big play against UNI was probably the one time I saw us kind of have a sense of urgency.
“Man, go make the play.”
Campbell made sure to point out it’s not just the offense that’s not playing with a sense of urgency.
The defense gave up multiple third-and-longs against Iowa and didn’t get any turnovers. On special teams, Tarique Milton failed to catch a punt and the ball rolled deep into Iowa State territory. A standard 40-to-50-yard punt turned into a 69-yard boot.
The whole team needs a sense of urgency, in every phase.
“I think it’s fitting for everybody right now within the organization of there’s gotta be a sense of urgency to make that play, to swing that tide and get the momentum,” Campbell said. “We need to create that rhythm that we’ve played with at a really high rate. But we’re certainly not doing that so far in the early part of the season.”
Campbell put the onus on himself to get that out of his team. So how does he do that?
“I wish I could play,” Campbell said. “I wish I was playing. But I can’t. So my job is to help guide the leaders. And my job is to help make sure we continue — and I don’t feel like we missed the boat on this at all — is continue to demand a high standard in terms of cultural (aspects).
“My job every day that I walk in (here), whether it’s our coaches, our players, or anybody that’s involved, is I’m gonna fight for the standard and I’m gonna fight for our culture. I don’t think that’s going to be missing. I’m coming swinging for everything that I can in terms of what I saw Sunday, what I see Monday and what I see today.”
One of the main aspects Campbell will be looking for and evaluating is trust.
“You know what? If you don’t have it, the nice thing about our program now is we’ve got a lot of guys that are ready to go,” Campbell said. “We’ll play the guys that we trust and I’ve always said that in our program.
"Trust is a word that’s used in the present tense, right? It’s always evolving. I think that’s something that’s really, really (important) for us right now, as we continue to make sure we’re doing everything that’s in the best interest of our culture and our program, and that’s my responsibility.”
Offensive lineman Sean Foster talked about trust on Tuesday. He said there is trust within the team and it needs to manifest itself into a sense of urgency.
“This team should have a lot of confidence and trust, and we do have a lot of confidence and trust,” Foster said. “We talk about how confident we are in each other, how much we trust each other and how much we care for each other each week. At the end of the day, that’ll give us that sense of urgency to make the play and take us wherever we want to go.”