AMES — Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy has been “the guy” in Ames for nearly two full seasons. He’s led the Cyclones to two bowl games and has broken numerous records.
But not every day can be a record-setting day. In Saturday’s 31-14 loss to Louisiana, Purdy played one of his worst games as a Cyclone.
The junior completed just 46 percent of his passes for 145 yards and an interception. The Louisiana defensive backs were playing man coverage and were clamping down on the Iowa State receivers.
“I don’t think I played good at all,” Purdy said. “I never got in rhythm. They did a good job of bringing blitzes and getting me uncomfortable in some areas. Still, I need to do better and do a better job of getting our guys together, offensively.”
Tight end Chase Allen has the utmost confidence in Purdy to get back right.
“Brock is Brock and he’s one of the best players to ever play here,” Allen said. “I have complete faith in Brock and we just have to find a way to get him in a groove so he can be the explosive player we know he is. We’ll figure out how to do that.”
Defensive line dominates
Things didn’t go well for No. 23 Iowa State (0-1) in most aspects of Saturday’s game. But one thing that did go well was how the defensive line played.
It was able to disrupt the run game and pressure the quarterback.
Defensive end Will McDonald had two sacks, nose guard Josh Bailey had two tackles for loss and his twin brother JaQuan Bailey had maybe the most impressive game after returning from a season-ending leg injury.
JaQuan had five tackles, one for a loss, a pass breakup and a hurry.
“As I watched our football team play today, JaQuan Bailey and Will McDonald — both of those guys looked really good,” Campbell said. “I thought our defensive front played with great tenacity. They played exactly how you expect that defensive front to play like. It’s great to have JaQuan back out there — that’s a huge win for us.”
The defense as a whole, other than one 78-yard touchdown pass, played well.
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Safety Greg Eisworth, who had a team-high six tackles, was also impressed with what he saw from the defensive line.
“Those guys come to work everyday,” Eisworth said. “There were some questions about that nose guard position but you saw those guys step up. Latrell (Bankston) had a sack and he put pressure on the quarterback. That stuff is big. I never doubted that they would perform that way.”
Iowa State’s offense took some hits in recent weeks with injuries. All-Big 12 tight end Charlie Kolar was out with a “lower-body injury” and is day-to-day.
In the first half, Trevor Downing, one of Iowa State’s key offensive linemen, went down with an injury. He was able to walk off the field under his own power but had a pretty severe limp while doing so.
“Well, I think the positive is we hope to get him back,” Campbell said. “I thought we played really well up front in the first half of the football game. I think we all know he’s such an anchor to the success of our offensive line, so anytime you lose an anchor, that’s never easy.
“Trevor is a game-changer for us. That’s a guy we’ve got to get back on the football field and we hope he will be ready to go for our next football game.”
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