AMES — Iowa State football’s “game” against South Dakota State on Saturday had 13 total plays — that number includes a kickoff, a punt and an extra point.
Still, the Cyclones had a film session on those 13 plays to try and better themselves.
“Even with just two series, we can figure out we need to do better with the next opportunities we get,” said wide receiver Deshaunte Jones, who “scored” a 55-yard touchdown. “It’s always a learning experience.”
Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell said there were positives he could take away from Saturday’s game at his Tuesday news conference.
“Getting the opportunity to prepare for a game, getting the game started, some of those young guys getting, at least, some snaps getting out in front of our fans was good,” Campbell said. “Our kids came back Sunday and Monday with really good intent and purpose and we moved forward.”
To move forward, Campbell will call on his past. Three years ago at Toledo, he had his first game canceled.
“It was more of a veteran football team than it was a young football team,” Campbell said of his 2015 Toledo squad. “I think that the veteran leadership of our football team was able to pull us back together and say, ‘All right, let’s have a great week of practice.’ That’s what we were able to do there. And it’s going to have to be the same response from our end.
“We lost some meaningful reps and you can make those excuses, but nobody cares. We have to continue to grow and get better just like any team does from week to week. But now you have to do it and you have to do it against yourself and you have to continue to do it in practice. That is one thing I’ve really like about this team, I think we’ve practiced really, really well. Hopefully those are the habits that help us when we get into the furry these next weeks will bring.”
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Campbell recognizes there are obviously some negatives that come with not playing a full game. Iowa State is breaking in a new kicker, middle linebacker, left guard and safeties.
And while they were able to get some of the first-game jitters out of the way, it’ll still be mostly all new to the newcomers next Saturday when Iowa State travels to Iowa City.
“As a coach and as a player, you want to play,” Campbell said. “I think our entire team was impacted in a lot of ways. Getting out there, getting to play the game of football, getting under the lights, having successes and failures, and getting to work through that. That’s probably impacted the team in general.
“That’s something we’ll have to get come this week when we play a whole football game and have the opportunity to do that.”
Mike Rose, Iowa State’s freshman middle linebacker, made a tackle. So did transfer safety Greg Eisworth. Redshirt freshman receiver Tarique Milton saw his first action and fielded a punt. Guard Josh Mueller blocked for a David Montgomery 9-yard run.
“I think there were certainly some great positives that we could take from it,” Campbell said. “What did you miss? You missed playing and you missed the opportunity to make adjustments and some of those things that all teams want to do because that’s what builds teams and ultimately that’s how you’re defined as a football team at the end of the year.”
Senior outside linebacker Willie Harvey said he’ll help Rose as much as possible through this week — like he’s done all season.
“Like I tell him every day in practice,” Harvey said. “‘Just relax and play. It’s just football. Obviously, if you weren’t good enough, you wouldn’t be on the field.’ I’m trying to keep his confidence up at all times.”
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