AMES — And, now, the real party begins.
Iowa State soccer is leaving non-conference play with an undefeated (3-0) document for the first time since 2011 after a 43-10 dismantling of Ohio on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.
The Cyclones had been sharp, exact and environment friendly early, leaping out to a fast 17-0 lead lower than 10 seconds into the second quarter, then had some hiccups as the recreation progressed, together with a blocked PAT, a fumbled snap and a few missed tackles defensively .
Still, the ultimate consequence mirrored the first two weeks of the season by ending in victories, and the Cyclones left the weekend with loads left to be cleaned up.
The Big 12 party awaits in lower than seven days.
“I instructed our youngsters at the moment I really feel like, man, we have proven up able to rock and roll,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell mentioned. “I really feel from a physicality standpoint, from an perspective and energy standpoint, issues that we’ve got mentioned are the cornerstones of who we wish to be, I actually like the place we’re at. From a precision and element (standpoint), we’re nonetheless younger, some younger errors at the moment, and we received to be humble sufficient to develop from these issues.”
If there have been any questions on how Iowa State would reply this week after its thrilling 10-7 win over archrival Iowa final week in Iowa City, these considerations had been shortly alleviated.
Hunter Dekkers was on-point from the opening kick, main the Cyclones on an 11-play, 69-yard drive to open the recreation earlier than capping it together with his first dashing landing of the season.
He added his first of three landing passes later in the quarter, a 12-yard reference to tight finish DeShawn Hanikato place Iowa State forward 14-0 at the finish of the first body.
By the time the halftime horn sounded, Dekkers had accomplished 21-of-27 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He completed with a ultimate line of 28-of-36 for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
Yes, there was the misplaced snap deep inside Ohio territory in the second quarter, however it could be laborious to really feel significantly better about how Dekkers carried out throughout his first three video games as Iowa State’s beginning quarterback.
“I believe there are high-end highs, and there are some lows that we received to get found out,” Campbell mentioned of his beginning quarterback. “The ball safety piece of it’s one thing that we have to proceed to pressure to work on, and but, man, there’s some essential performs that he makes in the soccer recreation. We’re not the workforce we have the means to be if he would not make these performs.”
Dekkers’ life is made significantly simpler by the presence of Xavier Hutchinsonwho was dominant once more on Saturday, tallying 9 receptions for 93 yards and a landing.
He grew to become the eighth Iowa State huge receiver to eclipse 2,000 profession receiving yards. The Jacksonville native can also be solely the seventh school soccer participant since 2000 to document 28-or-more receptions throughout his workforce’s first three video games of a season.
That’s an inventory that features Michael Crabtree, Brandin Cooks and Tavon Austin, a trio of elite school huge receivers who want no introductions.
He’s performed at an All-American degree so far in the season, however we’re nonetheless solely getting began.
“They had been attempting to bracket X in the first half,” Campbell mentioned. “You’re nonetheless capable of make some essential third downs, some essential performs, and nice moments, and that is a credit score to X for getting open.”
Saturday’s win over the Bobcats may depart you feeling higher about Iowa State’s different choices by way of the air, as nicely.
Jaylin Noel caught three passes for 29 yards. Dekkers related with Hanika twice in the recreation, together with on the aforementioned landing that stands as the second of Hanika’s season and Iowa State profession.
There was additionally the lastly wholesome Sean Shaw making an influence by catching 5 passes for 54 yards and his first landing of the season throughout the recreation’s third quarter.
“I believe the factor that I’m in all probability most enthusiastic about is that we had another guys step up,” Campbell mentioned. “I believe the factor that is pleasing is that you simply’re beginning to see a supporting forged shaped round Xavier. That’s thrilling as a result of we’ll want all these guys as nicely.”
This nonetheless seems to be certainly one of Iowa State’s greatest offensive traces beneath Campbell, and I’d argue final week’s efficiency in Iowa City might need been the greatest by an Iowa State offensive line in Campbell’s tenure.
With that mentioned, the group had some bumps in the street of its personal on Saturday, together with permitting back-to-back sacks throughout the third quarter.
Finding dashing room wasn’t an issue although as Iowa State posted 163 yards on 32 rushes for a 5.1 yards per carry common in opposition to Ohio. Jirehl Brock gained 76 of these yards on solely seven carries.
This Iowa State offense has moments when it seems much more dynamic and explosive than it has throughout the final a number of seasons that ranked amongst the greatest offensive assaults in program historical past.
Still, there’s room to develop with solely three video games crossed off the calendar.
“I used to be in all probability indignant at halftime, simply since you’re up 30-3, and I see all the issues which can be going to price us once we want them the most,” Campbell mentioned. “If we do not clear these issues up, then, we may be glad being 3-0. I’m not I nonetheless really feel like there’s a lot proof of who we may be and what we have to develop into if we’re prepared to get there.”
This recreation was bought as the first true problem for Iowa State’s protection, however Jon Heacock‘s unit was largely dominant, holding Ohio to solely 233 yards of whole offense and 24 dashing yards on 22 makes an attempt.
The unit additionally pressured 4 turnovers (two interceptions and two fumble recoveries) whereas tallying 4 sacks and 7 tackles for loss. The Bobcats had 14 drives in the recreation. Eight of them lasted 4 or fewer performs.
Consider that problem handed with flying colours, however the greatest checks nonetheless await.
“The enjoyable factor a few younger workforce is you watch how laborious they work, I actually thought our Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday practices had been the three greatest practices, perhaps, I’ve seen since I’ve been right here, and also you see unimaginable progress in some areas,” Campbell mentioned. “Then the conditions are model new or totally different guys and, man, you see areas the place they pop up, and we have to be higher. That’s what’s actually enjoyable about teaching a younger workforce. The challenges proceed to come back your approach.”
Iowa State has already executed rather a lot throughout its first three video games to lift the degree of expectations in the eyes of the fanbase. A bunch that in all probability would have been pleased with a bowl recreation look in the preseason will now go into the subsequent stage with desires of one thing larger.
Creating that hope required Iowa State to go some important checks, together with getting over the hump in opposition to its arch-rival, and plenty of the Cyclones’ greatest offseason questions seem to have solutions.
It’s okay for Iowa State followers to really feel fairly dang good driving into this week forward of the Big 12 opener in opposition to defending league champion Baylor subsequent Saturday in Ames. The program is driving excessive after passing its first sequence of checks. Those are solely the starting, although.
Now, the real party begins.