Nov 10, 2018; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back David Montgomery (32) is tackled from behind by Baylor Bears safety Verkedric Vaughns (1) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Campbell and Iowa State football are moving on from Saturday’s wild and weird win over Baylor.
The Cyclones’ head coach said on Monday’s Big 12 Teleconference, the school will not appeal David Montgomery’s suspension for the first half of this week’s game against Texas. Instead, they will use Montgomery’s suspension for being ejected after retaliating to being punched by Baylor’s Greg Roberts as a learning experience.
“I think the reality of it is it’s an unfortunate situation. David is one of the great leaders of all-time that I’ve ever been around and he responded to a negative situation,” Campbell said. “We know in this sport when you respond, there’s a penalty to it. We’ll abide by it and move forward. I think it is a great learning lesson. Nobody is more disappointed in how he responded to the situation than David, but also I think he’s done a great job of owning and leading through it. We’ll use it as a teaching moment and move forward in our program.”
Moving forward means Iowa State will officially be without one of its best players for the first half of what figures to be one of the biggest games in school history. Obviously, this will not be the first time the team has been without its star tailback as he sat out the entirety of the teams win over Oklahoma State, the game which sparked the team’s five-game winning streak marked by the insertion of true Brock Purdy as the team’s quarterback.
“We have had to play football without David at a bunch of different times and obviously in a whole game so we’re really fortunate to have a really talented backfield,” Campbell said. “It’s kind of been our motto, the next guy’s got to step up and be ready to play.”
Campbell said he does not yet know who will start in Montgomery’s place, but fans can expect to see a mix of Sheldon Croney, Johnnie Lang and Kene Nwangwu, all three of which have made significant contributions in their own rights at different points in the season.
“I think we’ll probably take it through the week,” Campbell said. “All those guys bring a lot of different qualities to the table, so I think you’ll see the majority of them.”
*** Campbell was asked about his general disappointment following the brawl/fight/whatever you want to call it during the third quarter on Saturday.
“I was certainly disappointed because that’s not football,” Campbell said. “One of the things we’ve worked really hard here to pride ourselves on is doing things the right way. Whether, who started it, who didn’t start it, what the situation was, that’s irrelevant at this point, but the reality of there was some unfortunate times during that game where I think both teams, the cooler heads didn’t prevail and that’s unfortunate. This is a sport and a game that there’s a lot of dignity to it. For a quarter, there wasn’t a lot of dignity in the game of football.”
*** Campbell said Brian Peavy practiced on Sunday and he expects him to be good to go for this weekend’s game against the Longhorns. Peavy was rumored to have been dinged up late in the win over the Bears.
“Brian’s good. He practiced on Sunday and I don’t know if he got dinged up other than the situation of the game,” Campbell said. “We wanted to try to rest him as much as we could. Also, wanted to get some of those young guys in so I think we’re in a great situation there for sure.”
*** Campbell was highly complimentary of Texas, especially star quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
“You turn the film on and on both sides of it you’re just talking about elite athleticism,” Campbell said. “Size, athleticism, the ability to run sideline to sideline on both sides of the ball. I think those are the things that jump out at you early. Obviously, on the offensive side, having a quarterback that’s now become a veteran and is really owning the offense, timing, ball placement, knowing where to go with the football, great confidence that he’s playing with, you can tell that he’s in a great rhythm. Defensively, I don’t think much has changed in terms of who they are. Guys that can really run. Guys that run sideline-to-sideline and play really aggressive. It looks like a really difficult Texas football team to me that’s playing at a really high-level.”