Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football notes: Xavier Hutchinson has career day in Big 12 championship game

Oklahoma wins defensive battle, 27-21

Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)
Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

ARLINGTON, Texas — Iowa State receiver Xavier Hutchinson had a game to remember on Saturday.

While No. 6 Iowa State lost to No. 10 Oklahoma 27-21 in the Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium, Hutchinson had a career day.

The junior had a career-high 10 receptions for a career-high 114 yards — 75 of those yards came in the second half as Iowa State was trying to mount its comeback.

“I’d almost tell you guys, ‘I told you so,’ Campbell said of Hutchinson’s performance. “I think I’ve been telling you about this guy from before the season started. I think my favorite thing about X is from the day that I met Xavier and from the day that he showed up on our campus, he has worked as hard or harder than any of the players in our football program.

“When you have great talent and you’re willing to have an elite work ethic next to that talent, then in the biggest moments, your God-given ability shines, and for X, he shined.”

Iowoa State vs. Oklahoma was defensive battle

The Big 12 has a reputation for being a high-scoring league that doesn’t play a lot of defense.

Close observers know that reputation is going by the wayside by the day.

Oklahoma held Breece Hall, the nation’s leading rusher, to under 100 yards and forced first-team All-Big 12 quarterback Brock Purdy to throw three interceptions and sacked him three times.

“Give those guys credit,” Campbell said. “They found some unique ways to get an extra hat in the box. We struggled to create great vertical run seams and consistently doing those things. So I thought they did a really good job. They’ve played outstanding on defense for the majority of the year, and hats off to obviously (defensive coordinator) Coach (Alex) Grinch and certainly Oklahoma.”

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The Cyclones allowed just 392 yards of offense and surrendered only three points in the second half to the Sooners.

“Man, what those guys did today on defense — and they’ve done it all year — was huge,” Campbell said. “It’s not just today. But when you’ve got a great defense, they give you a chance to win football games, and they give you a chance to play really high-end football.”

Iowa State injury, suspensions report

Iowa State safety Isheem Young was called for targeting on Oklahoma’s second offensive play of the game. Since the play happened in the first half, Young will be available for the entirety of Iowa State’s bowl game and won’t be suspended for the first half.

“It was a challenge,” Campbell said of losing Young. “But that’s kind of where we live. The obstacle is in the way and we have to try and overcome it. I thought the guys who came in for him played outstanding and quite honestly, I’m really proud of those guys. You hate to lose a really good player like that but you take it and you move on from it. It gave some others guys an opportunity to get in and show their growth.”

As far as injuries, tight end Dylan Soehner came back after missing Iowa State’s last game of the regular season. He had one catch for 23 yards and laid a devastating block on Hall’s first touchdown run.

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jake Remsburg was hurt during Iowa State’s first offensive play of the day. He was replaced by Joey Ramos, who started the season at right tackle before he was injured earlier in the season.

“That was tough losing Jake,” Campbell said. “I’ll have to go back and watch the video and see how Joey played. I think the positive is you’ve got a guy like Joey who actually started against Oklahoma last time.

“I don’t know if it was that big of a deal other than the fact that Jake has played really good football for this team, and we’re really, really proud of what he’s done and accomplished as a redshirt freshman.”

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