Iowa junior defensive end Joe Evans sacks Iowa State senior quarterback Brock Purdy in the third quarter at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.
There is no quarterback controversy in Ames — at least not yet.
That was the message from Matt Campbell on Saturday after he replaced four-year starting quarterback Brock Purdy with redshirt freshman Hunter Dekkers in the fourth quarter of No. 9 Iowa State’s 27-17 loss to No. 10 Iowa at Jack Trice Stadium.
“I would assume Brock’s going to be our guy,” Campbell said when asked if he still expects Purdy to start next week’s game against UNLV. “Did we put Hunter Dekkers in to challenge Brock’s position on our football team? Absolutely not. What we put Hunter in to do is kind of allow Brock to gather himself and really settle the game back down and really try to go win the football game. Even at that time in the fourth quarter, we felt like we could continue to stay in the game and had opportunities to maybe do that.”
Purdy completed 13-of-27 passes for 138 yards and three interceptions prior to being removed from the game. The three interceptions were all frustrating for different reasons with the first coming on a poorly thrown deep ball in the second quarter, the second bouncing off Xavier Hutchinsons’s hands on a drag route then the third being the product of a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage.
Purdy’s three turnovers ultimately led to 13 points for the Hawkeyes in a game where points were at a premium and possession of the football was crucial.
“I think until I watch the film, it’s really hard. Again, man, were a couple of those balls, balls that were tipped, should they have been caught? Was there somewhere in the progression that the ball should have went other than that? I think those are all things I’ll have a better answer of once I watch the videotape,” Campbell said. “Really, my thought was in the fourth quarter to get Hunter into the football game, let Brock kind of gather himself a little bit and it was certainly great to see Hunter do some really positive things as well.”
Dekkers performed well in his first Cy-Hawk experience, completing 11-of-16 passes for 114 yards and Iowa State’s first passing touchdown of the season. The lefty out of West Sioux High School showed the tools that have caused folks inside the program to rave about his potential since arriving as a member of the 2019 recruiting class, including the perfectly thrown touchdown pass just outside the reach of an Iowa defender to Tarique Milton.
Folks who are hoping to see Dekkers in a more permanent role as the leader of the Iowa State offense will have to wait, though.
There’s no quarterback controversy in Ames at this point.
“We believe in Brock,” Campbell said. “Brock’s a tremendous leader in our program. He certainly doesn’t want to have the end result of what happened today. He’s a guy that’s worked really, really hard. If I know Brock Purdy, he’ll bounce back better than ever.”