Oct 11, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones tight end E.J. Bibbs (11) avoids the tackle of Toledo Rockets safety Chaz Whittaker (8) to score at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State defeated Toledo 37-30. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Each day leading up to Iowa State’s season opener against South Dakota State, Cyclone Fanatic will check another day off the calendar with a memorable statistic, player or game as part of our Countdown to Kickoff presented by Tailgate Clothing.
It was impossible to know at the time, but Oct. 11, 2014, may have changed the course of Iowa State football history forever. On that day, it felt like just another win — Cyclones 37, Toledo 30.
A little more than a year later, we would come to understand that game’s importance for the future of Iowa State football. The Rockets’ young head coach had noticed the special atmosphere for college football that exists in Ames.
He noticed it so much that when Jamie Pollard came calling to offer him the position as Iowa State’s new head coach, it was an offer he could not turn down.
“After we played the Cyclones in Ames, I called my wife and said ‘You simply would not believe this place,'” Matt Campbell said in a statement announcing his hiring at Iowa State in December 2015. “Their fans, the game-day environment and facilities are all incredible. I could see us living in Ames and me coaching the Cyclones someday.”
The actual game is actually somewhat funny to reminisce upon. Cyclones who scored touchdowns on that day included Tad Ecby and Martinez Syria. E.J. Bibbs drug Rockets defenders into the end zone then was penalized after saluting the crowd.
Allen Lazard scored his second career touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Sam Richardson on what was his most productive day as a collegian to date, catching eight passes for 96 yards.
While all of those things are interesting, it was what was happening in the mind of Toledo’s head coach on that day that truly makes the story great — and what makes Oct. 11, 2014, an important day in the history of Iowa State football.