116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Matt Campbell has brought Iowa State to new heights. That’s a sentence that isn’t particularly surprising or shocking, but it’s the truth.
The Cyclones just played a clunker of a game against Northern Iowa and Iowa State still is ranked No. 9 in this week’s Associated Press poll.
ESPN’s College GameDay is returning to Ames for the second time in three years and for the second straight Cy-Hawk game.
The Cyclones could’ve only dreamed of playing in a game involving GameDay, let alone hosting GameDay, before Campbell arrived.
And don’t discount Campbell’s effect in Iowa State constructing a new $90 million sports performance complex just outside Jack Trice Stadium.
Campbell has brought Iowa State to levels undreamt of before his arrival as his No. 9 Cyclones ready themselves to play in-state rival and No. 10 Iowa on Saturday.
Not only will this be the first top-10 matchup in the Cy-Hawk series, it’ll be the first ranked matchup.
Campbell was asked during his weekly news conference if he’s allowed himself to have a moment of reflection and take pride in what he’s built.
“It’s not easy,” Campbell said. “We know that. We have to do it in a unique way. As you come to the stadium, even last Saturday, and you walk onto the field and you get this fan base back and you see the skyline has changed here with the new building. You take it in and there’s a great sense of appreciation.
“And yeah, there is a sense of pride with being a Cyclone right now. And there is certainly a great pride within our organization and program.”
A better Breece?
All-America running back Breece Hall notably had a subpar game against UNI, rushing for just 69 yards.
“I can’t play any worse than I did Week 1,” Hall said. “I have high expectations for myself and everybody else. We all have high expectations of each other and as a whole, I didn’t feel like we played like we should’ve.”
Campbell noted just how close Hall was to breaking a few runs loose and that, in large part, is where Hall’s frustration of himself comes from.
He knows he can do it.
“I think Breece was a little bit dinged up at the tail end of fall camp,” Campbell said Tuesday. “I really thought he was as great as I’ve seen him early on and I think you just felt like he was a hair off on a couple plays. Now, to Breece’s credit, there’s a couple other plays where some of the other guys were a hair off, so it’s not just on Breece Hall by any stretch of the imagination.
“I just think it’s a collection of everything kind of getting in sync as we continue forward and that’s something that I think between game one and game two will be really critical for us.”
Iowa State injury report
All-America tight end Charlie Kolar and key receiver Sean Shaw missed Week 1 because of injury.
Linebacker O’Rien Vance was injured in the second half.
Kolar went through warmups in full pads on Saturday, but did not play. Campbell said after the game Kolar was really close to playing.
“O’Rien and Charlie both practiced on Monday, which was great,” Campbell said. “Sean, I think, still is week-to-week. I don’t think he’ll be back this week and I think it’ll still be a little bit of time before we get Sean back.”
Campbell didn’t commit to Vance or Kolar playing, but with how close Kolar was last Saturday, unless he suffers a setback, he should be on the field against Iowa and if Vance’s injury is as minor as Campbell made it sound, he should be back, too.