Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football notes: Matt Campbell wants to see how Brock Purdy responds

Freshman QB is coming off his first loss

Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy. (John Gutierrez/USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy. (John Gutierrez/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — Iowa State true freshman quarterback Brock Purdy lost his first game as the primary quarterback Saturday against Texas.

Purdy struggled, completing just 10 of his 23 pass attempts for 130 yards and an interception. He also was sacked five times for minus-28 yards.

Coach Matt Campbell is interested to see how the rookie can bounce back.

“I think the reality of it is nobody cares more than Brock Purdy,” Campbell said. “It’s tough. So now it’s like, ‘Hey, that’s life,’ right? You’ve got to be able to overcome — not even within a game — but after a game like that and have the ability to come back. I’ve been really proud of how he’s responded mentally and physically. I’m looking forward to watching him play and get back on the practice field this week and kind of get back to work.

“He’s a young man I’ve got a lot of admiration for. We put a lot on his plate at a really young age and his ability to respond to what he’s done has been really impressive.”

What might help Purdy the most is having a guy like sixth-year senior Kyle Kempt in his metaphorical back pocket.

“I kind of equated it to the West Virginia game for us last year,” Kempt said. “It was one of those deals that you got your first loss and you have to look at it and evaluate what you need to do going forward. That’s one of the biggest things you learn from, is your first loss. Going forward, you’re upset by it, but that’s where he has to make the biggest strides.”

Defensive concern?

Iowa State still has the Big 12’s best defense. That fact hasn’t changed, but it has shown some chinks in its armor.

Two weeks ago against Baylor, Iowa State allowed only 14 points, but gave up 505 yards of offense.

Last week against Texas, Iowa State gave up 405 yards and surrendered 24 points. Still not a lot by Big 12 standards, but four points above what Iowa State has averaged.

“I don’t know if there’s much difference in terms of who we were earlier or who we were later,” Campbell said. “We’re just battling a lot of injuries and we’re a team that’s playing a lot of young guys and some of those young guys have worn down a little bit as this season’s gone on. And I think that’s the nature of the course.

“I saw our kids really respond and some of those young guys really grew as that game went on, so I thought that part was really rewarding and positive. So, for us, I think it’s just continuing to play. It’s not scheme. It’s not guys not trying. It’s not effort. I think it’s just a matter of getting back to the details of some little things that we’ve got to continue to hone in on.”

Future plans

Campbell was asked during Tuesday’s weekly news conference if he plans to coach as long as Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, who is 79 years old.

“I’d better not answer that truthfully. My wife would kill me, probably,” the 38-year-old Campbell said with a laugh. “I’ve always said this about me, there’s not a lot of other things I know other than football. So, my comfort and my joy that I get out of dealing and working with 18- to 22-year-olds on the sport of football, life, is something that I have a great appreciation for.

“I don’t know if I can do it that long. My hat goes off to him. I think my kids would probably kill me for going that long, too. But we’ll figure it out here at some point.”

Speaking of Campbell’s kids, his daughter recently asked him if they could have turkey for Thanksgiving. There is just one problem.

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“She said she wanted a turkey so my wife and I — neither of us know how to make one of those, so that’ll be an interesting challenge Thursday for the Campbell family,” Campbell said.

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