ISU WR Dimitri Stanley hopes his recent spike in production continues Saturday at BYU

Iowa State Cyclones’ wide receiver Dimitri Stanley (14) runs with the ball after making a catch around Kansas Jayhawks linebacker Jayson Gilliom (10) during the third quarter at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Ames, Iowa. © Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

 AMESDimitri Stanley faced a crossroads. 

 Iowa State’s sixth-year senior wide receiver has never been part of a winning college football team. He could have walked away from football after his first season with the Cyclones ended with a disappointing 4-8 mark — and his new team saw its string of five consecutive winning seasons snuffed out. But the speedy 6-0, 200-pound Colorado transfer didn’t quit for two powerful reasons.

 “I feel like I owed it to these guys to come in here and give them some good play from me, honestly,” said Stanley, who notched a season-high five catches in last week’s loss to Kansas and plans to further raise his profile in the passing game in Saturday’s 9:15 p.m. Big 12 matchup (ESPN) with BYU in Provo, Utah. “But definitely help myself out as well, because I do still have those dreams of going to the next level.”

 First, Stanley must simply take the next step for the Cyclones (5-4, 4-2), who will face an injury-riddled Cougars team (5-4, 2-4) that’s allowed 17 passing touchdowns this season, but also has intercepted 12 passes — one fewer than ISU. So there are plenty of opportunities for the Cyclones to excel through the air, but peril surrounds that proposition, as well.

 “A lot of experience,” Cyclone head coach Matt Campbell said of BYU’s veteran defense. “There are some guys who’ve played a lot of football.”

 Stanley’s played the most football among ISU’s underclassmen-filled wide receivers room and he hopes his blend of savviness and speed can lead to an uptake in production as ISU seeks to become bowl-eligible for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.

 “We have so much talent in the wide receiver room,” said Stanley, who has caught four or more passes in a game six times as a Cyclone. “Guys are just ready whenever their number is called and fortunately it was my number that was called last game.”

 ISU quarterback Rocco Becht’s identified a lot of numbers to connect with in his first season as a starter. Seven of his 13 touchdown passes have gone to different receivers or tight ends and even though Stanley has yet to reach the end zone, his ability to stretch the field and block downfield makes him a coveted complementary weapon for the Cyclones’ top-two receivers, Jaylin Noel and Jayden Higgins.

 “(In the Baylor win two weeks ago), he probably had some of the most physical blocks on the perimeter,” ISU offensive coordinator Nate Scheelhaase said. “That’s usually just how football works. If you just keep sticking to the process and if you just keep your nose down and keep grinding, and you don’t worry about the results, you don’t worry about the stats, those things end up coming.”

 Stanley’s certainly coming on at the right time as his time in college nears its conclusion. Last season, two of his most productive games came down the stretch — and now he can play a critical role in determining if he finally sees his fall end with more wins than losses arrayed across the schedule.

 “However I can help this team has been what I’ve been trying to do, whether that’s blocking, or whether that’s getting those yards,” Stanley said. “Other guys in the room have that same mentality and we kind of move forward based on that.”