Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football notes: Hakeem Butler continues to prove his worth

Receiver scored another spectacular TD vs. Akron

Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Hakeem Butler (18) catches a pass against the Akron Zips at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Hakeem Butler (18) catches a pass against the Akron Zips at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — Last week against Oklahoma, Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler had somewhat of a breakout game, catching five passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t have as spectacular of a game this week in a 26-13 win over Akron, catching six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. But he still made a number of timely catches and his touchdown was nothing to scoff at.

On his touchdown play, he caught the ball, tip-toed on the sideline before he got hit and when he did get hit, he went head over heels and reached the ball down to knock over the pylon as he went out of bounds.

“When I was in the air I just looked down and saw (the pylon),” Butler said. “I knew if I didn’t get in, then they’d just give the ball to David (Montgomery) and give my touchdown to David.”

It wasn’t just the touchdown, he also converted a fourth down and was always there for quarterback Zeb Noland.

“He does a great job and I love throwing to him,” Noland said.

MVP: Connor Assalley

Iowa State had a place-kicking competition all through spring and fall camp. Redshirt sophomore Connor Assalley won the job and so far hasn’t missed this season, making 7 of 7 field goals.

On Saturday, he made 4 of 4.

“He’s been a great surprise,” Campbell said. “Again, it goes back to competition. When you have competition in your program and a young man earns the right to be that player, usually you see great things happen. His consistency is exactly what gave him the ability to earn that job and I think we all saw that today. He’s done a great job for us. I’m really proud of him — he was kind of our, at least my, player of the game.

“I hope he’s not many more player of the games, but he was certainly player of the game with the way he kicked for us.”

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Up next

Iowa State (1-2, 0-1) returns to Big 12 play next Saturday at TCU (6 p.m., ESPN2 or ESPNU), which could drop out of the top 25.

The 17th-ranked Horned Frogs (2-2, 0-1) were unable to recover from a loss to Ohio State last week, falling 31-16 in their Big 12 opener at Texas on Saturday.

Last year’s meeting provided one of the signature wins of the Matt Campbell era, as Iowa State upset then-No. 4 TCU, 14-7 in Ames.

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