AMES — The Iowa State football team ended the regular season banged up.
Cornerback Brian Peavy said he hasn’t really been healthy all season, playing with an injured shoulder. Fellow cornerback D’Andre Payne missed the regular-season finale against Drake due to injury, as did redshirt freshman Datrone Young.
Safeties Lawrence White and Greg Eisworth also didn’t play.
Lastly, defensive end Enyi Uwazurike missed the game as a precaution due to the poor playing conditions and his recovery from a hip injury.
How is Iowa State’s injury situation now that the team has had a week off over finals and a little time to rest up?
“We’re as healthy as we’ve been,” Coach Matt Campbell said. “That time off that we took for us was really, really important. I really feel like we’ll be 100 percent going into this bowl game.”
Eisworth said he was thankful for the time to get healthy again.
This is a hectic time for football coaches with early signing day and bowl preparation, plus Campbell had to make sure his Cyclones (8-4) got healthy again.
“That’s where you’re appreciative of having a veteran football team,” Campbell said. “From the preparation, to the guys taking care of themselves, I think the leadership of our football team did a really good job. That’s the one thing with this new recruiting model. It’s a hectic time.
“We had a slow practice Tuesday just to get back on the field and kind of get our bearings right, then on Wednesday we really started to chip away at a game plan. We’re in the early stages, and I’d love to have most of the game plan in by the time we leave for San Antonio. I really appreciate our kids because their attention to detail has been outstanding. It’s a fine line between development and putting in the game plan.”
Iowa State has a few players who could leave early and jump to the NFL.
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The two main candidates are running back David Montgomery who had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and receiver Hakeem Butler, who broke Iowa State’s single-season receiving yards record with 1,126 yards.
They’ll both send information in to the NFL to be evaluated so they can decide what their future holds. But Campbell said they weren’t the only ones.
“We’ve got a lot of those guys,” Campbell said. “We sent a lot of information in. It’s not even about sending it in for a guy who has to make a decision or not, I like to send it in so guys can get great feed back. We sent in information last year just to find out, ‘What do I have to improve on? What are some areas as I go into my junior or senior year and how can I become the best I can possibly be?”
Peavy was one of those guys last season. Peavy has said he was 50-50 on staying or going last season. He ultimately decided to stay and used the feedback he got from the NFL to focus on areas of improvement.
The biggest area he focused on was understanding what opposing offenses are trying to do and study film so he can be a step ahead.
By car, by plane or by boat — OK, maybe not by boat — Cyclone fans will invade the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, for Iowa State’s Alamo Bowl game against Washington State on Friday.
Iowa State sold out of its 12,000 ticket allotment in less than three days. Athletics director Jamie Pollard requested another allotment and has filled that one as well. As of Dec. 6 — the last time Pollard tweeted an update, Iowa State students bought 1,600 tickets.
Also, according to Ticket City, the Alamo Bowl is the top-selling bowl game outside of the New Year’s Six bowls. 51 percent of the ticket sales have come from Iowa residents while only 4 percent have come from Washington residents, according to their data.
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Iowa State’s appearance in the Liberty Bowl last season was well attended and made a home game for Memphis a true neutral site. The Alamo Bowl seems to be heavily skewed Cardinal and Gold.
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