AMES — Brocktober is alive and well in Ames.
Iowa State football powered over TCU 49-24 Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.
The Cyclones are now 8-0 in the month of October dating back to 2017.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy isn’t big on the whole “Brocktober” thing — he said it’s fun for the fans but that’s about it.
Count receiver Deshaunte Jones as a fan, then.
“I always joke with Brock about Brocktober, ever since the first of ‘Brocktober’ this month,” Jones said, laughing. “He shrugs it off and tries to ignore me. But that’s just us trying to have fun. We tried to play loose and tried to play more fun and that’s what we did throughout the whole game.”
Having fun was a big emphasis for Iowa State this week.
Iowa State came into this season with expectations, but those expectations were weighing on the team.
Purdy said the difference between this week and the four games before was Iowa State had fun.
“It started the Sunday after the Baylor game,” Purdy said. “Coach (Matt) Campbell called in all of the captains and we talked about what was going on with the program. We just said the simple fact that we’re not having a lot of joy out there playing. This whole week we just kept telling the guys to have fun and have joy and play ball.”
Purdy emphasized that this is just a game that’s meant to be fun. The Cyclones still prepared just as hard, but they made sure they were enjoying the preperation.
That translated on the field for Iowa State.
“(This game) was really fun,” Purdy said with a smile. “The offense was in a groove and the defense kept making stops.”
Purdy was nearly perfect with 247 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 19-of-24 passing. He also added 102 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 12 attempts on the ground.
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He completed passes to 10 different players — receivers, running backs and even backup quarterback Re-al Mitchell caught a pass. But one of those receivers — Jones — had 10 catches for 110 yards. Every other receiver had one reception.
Tight ends Chase Allen and Charlie Kolar each caught a touchdown pass. Allen’s was a 1-yard TD to open up the scoring and Kolar’s went for 25 yards.
“(Purdy) is a pretty special guy,” Kolar said. “How many touchdowns did he have today? A lot? Four touchdowns. That’s a pretty good fantasy day. I wish I could draft him. My team’s pretty terrible right now.”
While Purdy was great throughout the game, what impressed Kolar the most was the drive Purdy led when TCU cut Iowa State’s lead to 11 in the fourth quarter. He capped it with a 9-yard TD to increase the lead to 42-24 with 6:27 remaining.
“It’s more than what you see on the field,” Kolar said. “He’s a leader off the field, too. I was most impressed with his poise and control.”
The reason playing loose and focusing on having fun is important for Iowa State is evident in its ability to finish drives. In the past, Purdy said the offense would tighten up inside the 40-yard line and have a negative play. This week, Iowa State finished drives and ended 5 for 5 in the red zone with five touchdowns.
“We were able to play fluent when we had momentum,” Purdy said. “That’s what happened against Oklahoma State last year, we had fun, and look what we went on to do. That’s what we want to do this year. Just keep having fun.”
Campbell felt that same momentum and rhythm
“I thought we were aggressive on both sides of the ball early,” Campbell said. “I just felt like there was a good flow. Even as that game got awkward there early in the fourth quarter, we made a play when we needed to make a play and took back the emotion and the energy and we were able to seal the deal, which I thought was really big for us.
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“I really like this team. Best group of kids I’ve ever coached, and I’ve never been down on these guys. It’s fun to watch them respond, and hopefully we get to tell their story as the season goes on.”
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