Becht showed poise, Campbell trust despite Cy-Hawk loss

AMES – Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht walked off the field at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday late in the first half of his team’s 20-13 Cy-Hawk loss.

The signal-caller who won the starting quarterback job through the off-season had just thrown a pick-six to give his team’s in-state rival a 17-0 lead. Then, his head coach, Matt Campbell, pulled him aside for a pick-me-up.

“I threw it,” Becht said. “I made a bad read. (Campbelll) was just telling me, ‘This is adversity. So what are you going to do about it?’ And, you know, I felt like we did a good job coming out after that, and putting together drives, we just weren’t able to execute those at the end.”

Iowa State had falln behind by three scores against a program that was 63-2 in its last 65 games while leading by eight or more points at any point in the game.

Some fans may have been calling for true freshman J.J. Kohl to enter the game. The highly touted early enrollee from Ankeny had split snaps with Becht during the week 1 win over Northern Iowa.

But Campbell didn’t flinch. Becht ran out with the offense again, prepared to try and drive down the field to at least get some points on the board before the halftime break.

“I love Coach Campbell,” Becht said. “I’m excited that he’s got all that trust in me to keep me in there. I felt like that just made the bond bigger, especially for this team — just getting them riled up for the next drive and getting them ready. This next coming week for this following this next season, you know, we’re gonna be, you know, firing out on every drive.”

Iowa State eventually drove down the field successfully for the second time before settling for a 42-yard field goal from Chase Contreraz. From that point on, Iowa State outscored Iowa 10-3, but Becht fully owned the costly pick-six that preceded the late comeback.

“I’m gonna take this one on me,” he said. “Take away that pick six, we’re going into overtime.”

Becht ended the game with with 203 yards through the air on 23 completions. Each of those numbers are career highs.

The mistake may have been glaring, but even so, Campbell put trust in his quarterback and the importance of that shouldn’t be minimzed in the redshirt freshman’s second career game against a Power 5 program.

“I felt like we had a good game plan coming in,” Becht said. “I felt like we executed on a lot of things. There’s definitely a lot of stuff we can clean up. But we’re just going to think about the positives right now. And, you know, going into week three, we’re gonna execute on those mistakes and we’re gonna get better.”

Iowa State will take the field for its final non-conference game of the season next Saturday, traveling to Ohio, a team without its starting quarterback that the Cyclones beat 43-10 last season.

It will be a second dress rehearsal for the program before it opens Big 12 play against veteran head coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State.

The last thing fans want to hear after a rivalry loss is about how the team is young and full of potential. Cubs fans will understand this the most.

However, regardless of how overstated it may feel, it remains true and the trust placed today in Becht and the team around him may point to strong potential moving forward.

“I haven’t played a game and lost in a while,” Becht said.

His only other game against a power 5 team came in clean-up duty against TCU a season ago.

“Having this first loss on my hand, it’s just gonna give me the confidence and the growth that I’m going to need to lead this team for the rest of the season,” Becht said. “And like I said, (I’m) just taking this one on me, I feel like the team — they’ve got my back and I’ll have their back.”