Iowa State Cyclones

No. 23 Iowa State 52, Kansas 22: Playmakers guide Cyclones to blowout win

Breece Hall runs for 185 yards again

Iowa State running back Breece Hall (28) out runs Kansas safety Ricky Thomas (3) and cornerback Karon Prunty (9) for a t
Iowa State running back Breece Hall (28) out runs Kansas safety Ricky Thomas (3) and cornerback Karon Prunty (9) for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. (Orlin Wagner/Associated Press)

Editor’s note: Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, The Gazette has decided to limit its staffing at road games. Ben Visser covered today’s game via television, radio and Zoom news conferences.

AMES — Iowa State’s playmakers were on display Saturday against Kansas.

The 23rd-ranked Cyclones beat the winless Jayhawks handily 52-22 thanks to a balanced offensive attack that amassed 552 yards — 294 passing and 258 rushing.

For the second game in a row, running back Breece Hall rushed for 185 yards, tying his career high. He also had two touchdowns. Hall’s second touchdown was a 58-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

“He’s really special,” Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “And I hate to say this but there are still so many little things that he can improve. What I do appreciate about Breece is he accepts being challenged. What’s going to be fun is when he puts all those things together.

“What we’ve seen so far is really special but he can be really elite.”

Kene Nwangwu spelled Hall throughout the game and didn’t miss a beat. Nwangwu rushed five times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

“Talking with Breece, we just have to play our game,” Nwangwu said. “We just need to be there to help the team, whether it’s a big play or pass blocking.”

Quarterback Brock Purdy was 23 of 34 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 20 yards and a touchdown.

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The junior is now tied with Bret Meyer for Iowa State’s career touchdown passing mark with 50.

Five Iowa State receivers caught at least three passes, led by Xavier Hutchinson’s five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Cedar Rapids native Landen Akers had six catches for 76 yards, both career highs.

Tight end Charlie Kolar caught three passes for 31 yards, a touchdown and a 2-point conversion.

Defensively, JaQuan Bailey had four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Greg Eisworth was the standout player in the secondary. He only had two tackles but came up with Iowa State’s only interception and a fumble recovery.

“As you could see, not a lot of their running plays got to the second level,” Eisworth said. “That’s a credit to the defensive line and the linebackers to take away the run game because that puts it on the pass game and makes our jobs a little bit easier. They were able to put pressure on the quarterback, we forced him to throw into tighter windows and it makes our job easier.”

Mike Rose continues to dominate games for Iowa State. The junior had five tackles and a pass breakup. While the stats don’t jump off the page, he was everywhere on defense and his coach took notice.

“Mike Rose, if there’s a better defensive player in college football, I’d like to see him,” Campbell said.

The Cyclones (4-2, 4-1) were able to get their backups in during the fourth quarter and they picked up where the starters left off.

True freshman Hunter Dekkers was in at quarterback and the lefty showed why he was a prized, 4-star recruit.

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His first pass was a play-action roll out to freshman tight end Easton Dean, who Iowa State’s staff is also extremely high on. That play went for 25 yards.

The next play, Dekkers displayed his ability to pass from a clean pocket. He lofted a 30-yard pass to sophomore Joe Scates for a touchdown that was right on the money.

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