The Iowa State football team’s 2019 campaign, on the surface, hasn’t gone as many Cyclones thought it would.
The team comes into this Saturday’s matchup with Texas with four losses in the first nine games. That’s a number that some people expected they would finish the season with.
It’s all attributed to close losses. The combined point differential of the four losses is 11, and if the seven-point loss to OSU is thrown out, the rest came down to four points on the scoreboard.
As the team looks to welcome in the Longhorns this week, head coach Matt Campbell isn’t focusing on the close losses. He’ll evaluate his team’s success at the end of the season.
After all, he has better things to worry about. Texas is the last remaining school Campbell has yet to beat since becoming Iowa State’s coach.
He touched on all of that and more during his weekly press conference in Ames on Tuesday.
Since Campbell has arrived at ISU, one of the things that he differs in greatly from past coaches is his use of the tight ends. The unit is being used far more than they have in the past. Chase Allen touched on that as well as the close losses on Tuesday.
The difference between winning and losing those games according to him?
“A couple of plays.”
Although, the team isn’t planning on dwelling on those. They are using them as motivation according to defensive back Tayvonn Kyle. Kyle started his first game as a Cyclone during Saturday’s game in Norman. He talked about how unique this season has been and what Iowa State needs to do to finish strong.
Tarique Milton also took the time to talk to the media on Tuesday. As previously mentioned with the uptick in usage at the tight end spot, Milton credited Dylan Soehner as the only reason the Cyclones scored in the first quarter in Norman.
When Texas comes into Ames on Saturday, the Cyclones will be favored against the Longhorns for the first time in series history (18 meetings). This is largely due to the prowess of Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy and the poor numbers that Texas’ pass defense has put up.
The Longhorns are giving up 300 yards through the air each game, which is ninth in the Big 12 and 124th in all of college football.
There are only six teams worse than Texas in that category.
Purdy, however, will approach it like any other game.
The two teams will meet up at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff with the game scheduled to be televised by Fox Sports 1.