116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Breece Hall didn’t exactly look like Breece Hall to start the season.
The reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and unanimous first-team All America running back started slow.
He rushed for just 69 yards in each of Iowa State’s first two games.
But over the last couple of games, Hall has looked like his old self.
He rushed for 100 yards against UNLV despite not playing in the fourth quarter or part of the third quarter. Against Baylor last Saturday, Hall rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns, while also having 51 yards receiving and tallying another touchdown.
“Yeah, I think it’s night and day,” ISU football coach Matt Campbell said Tuesday. “When he's at his best — boy, it's hard to find a better player in terms of the running back position. I just think for Breece, part of that was getting going. I think he was hindered because the last week-and-a-half of fall camp, he got dinged up. It takes reps and being in a groove and kind of playing yourself back into shape a little bit and that’s what he had to do. I'm really proud of where Breece is right now.
“When Breece plays well, we seem to have great flow in our offense, and Breece is playing at a really high clip over the last few games. We’ll need to continue to do that.”
Can Iowa State receivers emerge?
Outside of Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State receivers haven’t had much production.
Hutchinson has 24 catches for 285 yards and two touchdowns. The next best receiver is Darren Wilson, who has four catches for 66 yards.
Between Hutchinson and Wilson are tight end Charlie Kolar, tight end Chase Allen and Hall.
Kolar has 13 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown, Allen has nine catches for 112 yards and Hall has 14 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.
“Players, formations, plays. You know what I mean?” Campbell said. “You've heard me talk about that for a long time and that doesn't mean there's not more players out there. I just think that we would be silly if our starting point for our offense wasn’t our ‘A’ players.
“I think it's going to be exciting to see who continues to emerge at the receiver position. We feel like there's some really talented guys there. And it's about consistency for those other guys.”
Iowa State football injury report
Iowa State’s injury report is getting smaller and smaller. Middle linebacker O'Rien Vance returned to action against Baylor and receiver Sean Shaw has worked his way back in over the last two weeks.
Cornerback Datrone Young is the only known player still out with an injury.
Even though Vance is back, he’s not 100 percent yet, so the staff is easing him in. Which is easier to do since his replacement, Gerry Vaughn, has played well.
“I think you’ll see probably a little bit more of a split in terms of what happens as O’Rien gets back,” Campbell said. “Is he back 100 percent? I think hopefully this week, another step closer to 100 percent. He wasn’t there all the way last week, (which) is why we kind of tried to limit his reps to what he could do for us.
“I think we can continue to find ways to use Gerry Vaughn in a positive way. Can he continue to help us at Mike? Yes. Can he maybe spell some of those other linebackers at times throughout the football game? Yes.”