Clemson defense excited by challenge Brock Purdy presents

Clemson linebacker James Skalski (47), a “super senior” in his sixth year with the Tigers, plays his final home game Saturday.


That’s the word new Clemson defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin used to describe Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy on Sunday ahead of this week’s Cheez-It Bowl match-up in Orlando.

That attribute has played significantly into Purdy’s status as Iowa State’s all-time leader in essentially every passing statistic. That attribute has also put Purdy squarely onto the Tigers’ radar during their preparation leading up to the game.

“Definitely, it’s a great challenge,” Baldwin said. “My time at Arizona, you always heard his name, being a Phoenix-area kid and just a great player, very accurate, does a lot of things well, plays well in the spotlight, gamer, savvy, he’s accurate. Can’t say enough great things about him. So, it’s definitely a challenge for us and we’ve got our work cut out for us for sure.”

That focus on Purdy surely got even more intense once All-American running back Breece Hall announced his decision to opt-out of the bowl game, forego his remaining eligibility and enter his name into the 2022 NFL Draft.

While Iowa State has options at running back, it is the man behind center that is the known commodity.

There will be a significant amount of pressure on Purdy’s shoulders (what’s new) when he takes the field for his final game as a Cyclone on Wednesday. He and everyone associated with the Cyclones hope it will be a performance that puts a perfect bow on his legendary career in Ames.

The Tigers hope to make it a performance everybody in cardinal and gold would rather forget.

“He just makes things happen over and over again and creates something out of nothing,” Tigers linebacker James Skalski said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us and we’re excited.”

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.