116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Iowa State’s stars played like stars in a win over Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.
Brock Purdy completed 22 of his 25 passes and Breece Hall had a career-high 197 yards rushing.
Mike Rose had nine tackles and Will McDonald had two strip sacks.
But it was some of the under-the-radar players that allowed Iowa State to handily beat Kansas State, 33-20.
Offensive lineman Jarrod Hufford started the season as the backup left guard and got spot playing time as a sixth lineman in short-yardage situations.
On Saturday, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Hufford started at left tackle in place of Sean Foster.
Hufford was able to keep Purdy’s blind side protected — Purdy didn’t get sacked Saturday — and Hufford helped spring Hall on a number of runs.
"I just think Jarrod has been playing exceptional,” Coach Matt Campbell said. “I think if you go back to the Fiesta Bowl a year ago, man he went into the second half. He played outstanding. He really had a great offseason. We were kind of trying to mix and match in the first four or five games of the season and you just kept putting Jarrod in and he kept grading out really high. It got to the point where we're at this point in the season and you want to put your best players on the field in the best situation for them.
“I think that really helped anchor and solidify our offensive front."
That solidified line gave Purdy all kinds of time to go through his progressions and find the open man. And more times than not, that open man was true freshman receiver Jaylin Noel.
Noel had a team-high five catches for 48 yards with a long of 25 yards.
Campbell had been bringing Noel’s name up as a young player who has impressed and maintained Noel would have a breakout game sooner rather than later.
“When you got to get to the midway point, take a step back, you're like, ‘Man, who are the guys that continue to do great things?’” Campbell said. “And I've talked a lot about Jaylin Noel since January. In January, February, March, April, May, June, July, that guy's been a guy that's continued to show up for us.”
His emergence helped take some of the pressure off of Xavier Hutchinson, who had been carrying the entire Iowa State receiving corps.
“I think for another receiver to come to the forefront for this team and this program, I think it's really big,” Campbell said. “I think Jaylin has got a chance to be a really special player. And I think a lot of people saw that tonight. He had a great run. The catch he made right before the half was really impressive. So yeah, he's playing good football."
Another player playing good football for the Cyclones is kicker Andrew Mevis.
Mevis made all four of his field goal attempts Saturday and all four were from 40 yards or farther.
"We've been trending a lot closer to a full-team performance over the last couple of weeks,” Campbell said. “And I don't even think just the A (grades) from our A players, it's everybody's got to do their job. If it's five plays in a game, if it's 20 plays in a game or if it's 70 plays in the game. You have to grade out and be able to do your job over the test of the 60 minutes.
“For us to be successful here at Iowa State, that has to be our key to success. And I would say I think we're trending a lot better in those directions.”
Iowa State (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) gets another test this week, with No. 8 Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0) coming to town. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. at Jack Trice Stadium.