AMES — True freshman quarterback Brock Purdy has done nothing but impress since the moment he’s stepped on the field for Iowa State (3-3, 2-2 Big 12).
Saturday he became the first true freshman to start a game for the Cyclones since Todd Bandhauer in 1995.
In Iowa State’s 30-14 win over No. 6 West Virginia, (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) Purdy went 18-for-25 passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns. He also had an interception in the first quarter.
“He had to fight though a little adversity tonight,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “It was really great to watch that happen. Especially at that position, it’s never going to be perfect and certainly wasn’t at times this game. Boy, some of the plays he made, his ability to escape pressure, obviously that last touchdown throw to Deshaunte (Jones) was really impressive. He has a lot of confidence in his receivers, he spreads the ball around and you see him getting more confident as the weeks go forward. That’s exciting to see.”
Running back David Montgomery was more than impressed with Purdy.
“I’ve never seen somebody so young come in and be the general,” Montgomery said. “I’ve never seen that. The only time I’ve ever seen it was Kyle (Kempt), but he was older, and he’s been through it before. But to see somebody that young taking charge and being the general, it’s a sight to see. His future is big, so I’m excited to see what it means for us.”
Montgomery back to his old self
Montgomery had been productive early in the season with two 100-yard rushing games, but he seemed to lack the “wow” moments he had last year.
After sitting out the Oklahoma State game last week due to injury, Montgomery provided plenty of “wow” Saturday. The junior rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown. His long was a 37-yard run.
Teammates and coaches let his play speak for itself.
“At this point, nobody really knows what to say,” receiver Hakeem Butler said. “The dude is incredible. Best player on our team, best player in the country.”
Campbell didn’t add much in terms of trying to describe Montgomery’s impact, but he was impressed with the offensive line.
“I thought David was David tonight,” Campbell said. “I thought he really got into a good rhythm early in the football game. The second part of it is you’re seeing a maturing offensive line. They weren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they were moving people, finishing people. Those are things we didn’t have in the first two years. I think it’s fun to start and watch that come together.”
Two Iowa State players were late scratches for the game against West Virginia. Safety Lawrence White and defensive lineman Ray Lima each were out due to injury.
“Both are day-to-day,” Campbell said. “I expect Ray to be ready to rock and roll. Lawrence got dinged up in practice. Nothing long-term and I’d expect both to be probable for our next football game.”
Defensive end JaQuan Bailey thought backups Jamahl Johnson and Datrone Young filled in admirably.
“Jamahl Johnson was the MVP, man,” Bailey said. “I was so proud of him. “
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“And I was so proud of our secondary, too. Shoutout to our whole secondary. Those dudes played amazing tonight. Amazing. Shoutout to every single defensive back that stepped on the field tonight. For real.”