When describing the Iowa State football team West Virginia head coach Neal Brown chose the word consistent. Not explosive, talented, special or any of the other cliche football adjectives, consistent.
“They play disciplined, they play tough football,” Brown said. “They’re consistent, just really consistent.”
Just looking at their 3-2 record and the final scores in their games, the Cyclones, at least on the surface, do not look all that consistent.
During his Tuesday press conference, however, Brown pointed out what he means.
Offensively this season, the Cyclones have had only two three and out drives. They have also yet to give up a touchdown in the first quarter through five games.
Going back to 2017, ISU has not lost a game by more than 14 points. They have not lost a game in October since 2016, when the team finished the year 3-9.
Brown attributes a lot of Iowa State’s success to fourth year head coach Matt Campbell.
“Matt Campbell has done a great job building that program,” Brown said. “I’m impressed with all phases, what he’s done from recruiting, how they’ve played, how they’ve branded themselves.”
When the two teams meet Saturday it will be the eight matchup in a series that has been dominated by the Mountaineers thus far. WVU is 5-2 against the Cyclones since joining the Big 12, however last season’s 30-14 upset in Ames may have the tide turning in Iowa State’s favor.
ISU is coming off of a blowout win at home over TCU 49-24 while WVU is looking for a rebound performance after losing to Texas 42-31.
During the Big 12 teleconference Monday morning, Campbell said that WVU quarterback Austin Kendall jumps out at him when he watches tape on the Mountaineers.
“I think the thing that jumps off the screen is just his talent,” Campbell said. “I think anytime you get into a new system and you’re working through that, you’re going to have both positives and negatives. But I think the thing that jumps off is just the amount of positives he’s having.”
Iowa State’s quarterback is no slouch either. Sophomore Brock Purdy has thrown for 1,578 yards and 10 touchdowns while only throwing two interceptions and sporting a 70.76 completion percentage.
Brown stressed the importance of this game following the Texas game and how important the fans are to the team.
“This is a huge game for us,” Brown said. “I know our fans were excited about last week and this game is every bit just as important, maybe more-so. We only get six opportunities to play in this stadium. We need everyone that can possibly get here to get here. I think we’re on our way to making this one of the best home field advantages in college football. We need our fans, they were huge last week and I think they’ll be huge this week.”