Matt Campbell not surprised in Hunter Dekkers’ standout debut

When Hunter Dekkers came off of the field at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, he had amassed 293 yards throwing the football.

Three of his four touchdowns went to wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson, each of them coming on the first three drivers of the afternoon.

“I thought Hunter (Dekkers) handled the flow of the game really well,” Campbell said. “I thought he managed the football, (that was) a great play by the SEMO kid before the half (to make an interception), but other than that I thought in terms of the operation of the offense, handling the football, obviously his distribution and accuracy was good.”

Dekkers completed 10 of his first 11 throws to start the game with his only incompletion coming by way of a ball that was thrown away.

He became the first Cyclone to toss four touchdowns in his debut start since at least 1999.

“For his first time out and having the opportunity to handle an adverse situation and respond to it was good,” Campbell said. “I thought he did a good job of handling all of those things.”

Dekkers played as poised of a game as many of the recent starting quarterbacks at Iowa State did in their careers.

He was aided in that when the nerves never arrived.

“To be honest, I was expecting some sort of nerves coming into this game,” Dekkers said. “To be honest, I really didn’t. I was expecting them to show up and they just never came.”

Once he realized that, it was on.

“I think the minute I ran out there on that first drive, I got behind the center and they still weren’t there,” Dekkers said. “I was like, ‘alright, lets roll.”

Dekkers was as consistent as could be in his first passes on the day, and although there were things he could improve upon, it was about as good of a game as someone could ask for.

The performance didn’t surprise many in the Iowa State locker room, including Campbell.

All parties have been behind Dekkers, and Saturday was his day to show what he’s got.

“I think for me with Hunter, I could have told you in February, March, April, etc. that I really felt confident he would play well today,” Campbell said. “His preparation and detail is commitment to the process. Hunter’s a great competitor. He want’s to be the best.”

It went about as well as it could have.

“It doesn’t (surprise me),” Campbell said. “I have great faith in Hunter Dekkers. I think if you go back to his story, this isn’t like an underdog story – this guy has been successful at everything he’s done. If there’s one thing that Hunter knows how to do, it’s be successful.”

In just a few days, he’ll try to be successful against Iowa – in a rivalry where Iowa State is seeking its first win since 2014.