Sep 18, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA;  UNLV Rebels quarterback Cameron Friel (7) is pressured by Iowa State Cyclones defensive back Anthony Johnson Jr. (26) during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy sets Iowa State passing record in rout of UNLV

Brock Purdy passed for 288 yards to set the school record for career passing yards as No. 14 Iowa State rolled to a 48-3 victory over UNLV in a nonconference game on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Purdy completed 21 of 24 passes for three touchdowns while increasing his yardage total to 9,607. He passed Bret Meyer, who had 9,499 from 2004-07.

Breece Hall rushed for 100 yards and two scores on 21 carries for the Cyclones (2-1). He scored at least one rushing touchdown for the 15th straight game to tie the Big 12 record held by Missouri’s Corby Jones (1997-98).

Xavier Hutchinson caught 10 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and Charlie Kolar also had a scoring reception for Iowa State.

Daniel Gutierrez kicked a 30-yard field goal for UNLV (0-3), which has lost nine straight games since winning its 2019 finale against Nevada.

Rebels quarterback Doug Brumfield missed the game, stemming from a hard hit he took against Arizona State one week ago. Cameron Friel completed 8 of 13 passes for 67 yards and one interception, and Tate Martell was 2-of-6 passing for 27 yards.

Martell, who formerly played for Ohio State and Miami, made his UNLV debut.

Charles Williams rushed for 42 yards on 19 carries for the Rebels.

Iowa State outgained the Rebels 493 to 130 and had a 27-7 edge in first downs.

Hall scored on 1-yard runs with 8:04 left in the first quarter and on the first play of the second quarter to give Iowa State a 14-0 lead. He nearly had a third, but he was ruled inches short on a fourth-down leap with 8:57 left in the half.

Hutchinson caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Purdy with 2:15 remaining in the half, and Andrew Mevis added a 40-yard field goal with three seconds left to give the Cyclones a 24-0 lead.

Iowa State increased its lead to 31 when Purdy connected with a wide-open Kolar for a 33-yard score with 11:03 left in the third quarter.

Gutierrez’s field goal with 3:39 left in the third got the Rebels on the board, but Purdy tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Hutchinson to make it 38-3 with 1:51 left.

Mevis booted a 54-yard field goal with 8:23 to play, and Deon Silas drove in from the 1 with 5:07 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Iowa junior running back Tyler Goodson runs into the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter against Indiana at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

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No. 9 Iowa St. hosts No. 10 Iowa in nonconference showdown

In-state rivals Iowa and Iowa State have never played when both programs are ranked.

That will change Saturday when No. 9 Iowa State hosts No. 10 Iowa in a nonconference battle at Ames, Iowa.

The two teams didn’t meet last season due to the coronavirus pandemic and this season’s confrontation has prompted ESPN to conduct its preseason show on the stadium grounds.

But the nastiness in the rivalry hasn’t softened and will be extra intense with both teams eyeing strong campaigns.

The Cyclones have dropped their past five meetings with the Hawkeyes since last winning in 2014, and Iowa running back Tyler Goodson was quick to remind everyone of that fact.

“This is like their Super Bowl,” Goodson said of Iowa State. “They haven’t beat us in (several) years. I think them being at their home place knowing ‘College GameDay’ is going to be there is a good distraction for them and allows us just to focus on us.”

The Hawkeyes hold a 45-22 series lead, but every contest holds the attention of every resident in the state.

“It means something and there’s always a higher level of energy, especially a game like this,” said Cyclones coach Matt Campbell, who is 0-4 in the series since becoming coach prior to the 2016 season.

“It’s an incredible rivalry. It’s special for this state. It’s special for these two universities.”

Iowa opened its season with a 34-6 trouncing of then-No. 17 Indiana, while Iowa State struggled to notch a 16-10 win over FCS Northern Iowa.

Cyclones star running back Breece Hall scored a rushing touchdown for the 13th straight game, two shy of the Big 12 record held by Missouri’s Corby Jones in 1997-98.

Hall is also aware the victory wasn’t the type that would frighten the Hawkeyes.

“It wasn’t too pretty, but we’re still happy we got the ‘W,’” Hall said. “We didn’t play perfect. The defense did its job. The offense didn’t do what they’re supposed to do. We just have to get back to the drawing board and come back and practice and get better.”

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy completed 21 of 26 passes for 199 yards to improve to 24-11 as a starter. The wins are the most in Cyclones’ history by a quarterback.

Purdy’s career passing yardage total sits at 9,181 as he closes in on the school record held by Bret Meyer (9,499 from 2004-07).

Strong-side linebacker Mike Rose accumulated 11 tackles against Northern Iowa.

Cornerback Riley Moss was the star attraction in Iowa’s win over the Hoosiers as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns and helped hold Indiana to 233 yards.

The returns of 30 and 55 yards give Moss eight career interceptions — three for touchdowns.

Quarterback Spencer Petras completed 13 of 27 passes for 145 yards. He also rushed for a score.

Goodson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Goodson’s comments certainly spiced up the game-week chatter, but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz never finds it easy to make the two-hour bus ride from Iowa City to Ames.

“We have to go over there and play, and it’s always tough,” Ferentz said. “Might as well get used to it, that’s how it is in our (Big Ten) conference. We play a lot of tough road games. Just based on recent history, it’s probably going to be a really close game.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2021; Glendale, AZ, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) against the Oregon Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Iowa State opens with Northern Iowa, high expectations

Expectations may have been higher once upon a time for No. 7 Iowa State, but it’s hard to convince its rabid fan base otherwise at this point.

The defending Big 12 Conference regular season champs return virtually every player of note ahead of Saturday’s season opener with FCS opponent Northern Iowa in Ames and expect to sell up to 49,000 season tickets — a school record.

“We’ve earned the expectations people have for us,” said Cyclones running back Breece Hall to the Des Moines Register. “We know how good we can be.”

The job coach Matt Campbell has done is nothing short of spectacular. Iowa State has jumped multiple levels in his five years, going from occasionally competitive to good to suddenly a contender to play for a national title.

Campbell has won three Big 12 Coach of the Year awards in the last four years. The Cyclones’ 32 wins over the past four seasons is the most in program history. And with 19 starters returning, Iowa State has the experience to match its burgeoning skill.

What’s more, the players are comfortable with wearing a target that most Cyclone teams have shot at in vain.

“This is where we’ve always wanted to be with our program,” said quarterback Brock Purdy. “This is what we’ve envisioned, so it’s a reality for us now. We know that.”

Hall rushed for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, while Purdy completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 2,750 yards with 19 scores and nine interceptions. The defense is led by middle linebacker Mike Rose, who notched 96 tackles, including 10 1/2 for losses, and intercepted five passes.

In going 9-3 last year and beating Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, Iowa State finished one of its best seasons with a quality win over a proven brand name. And even its one so-called bad loss in the first game turned out to be not so bad when Louisiana spent most of the year in the Top 25.

That defeat might be why the Cyclones pledge not to overlook Northern Iowa. Another reason might be the last time the teams played. It took Iowa State three overtimes to hold off the Panthers 29-26 just two years ago.

UNI went 3-4 in the spring, when the Missouri Valley Football Conference opted to play its schedule due to COVID-19, and failed to qualify for the 16-team FCS playoff field. It expects to do better than its predicted finish of fifth place in the MVFC because it returns all 22 starters.

“If we can win our league, which I know we can, we can win a national championship,” wide receiver Logan Wolf said to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

The Panthers’ top returnee might be defensive tackle Jared Brinkman, an All-America pick on the FCS level who was his conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Offensive tackle Trevor Penning, who’s 6-7 and 335 pounds, is considered an NFL prospect.

Will McElvain has started 21 games for UNI and tossed 20 touchdown passes as a freshman, but coach Mark Farley brought in Michigan State transfer Theo Day to compete for the starting job. It’s not known who will take the first snap on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2021; Glendale, AZ, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell against the Oregon Ducks during the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State gives HC Matt Campbell 8-year extension

Iowa State has given Matt Campbell an eight-year extension, keeping the fifth-year head coach in Ames, Iowa, until 2028.

Further, the school vowed to provide Campbell $3 million in salary enhancements for his coaching staff over the next three years.

“Coach Campbell has always put investments in his student-athletes and football staff before his own personal gains,” ISU director of athletics Jamie Pollard said in a statement. “That is the essence of servant leadership and is what makes Coach Campbell so successful.”

Contract terms were not disclosed. Campbell earned an average of $3.5 million annually on his previous deal, which ran through 2025.

Campbell has resuscitated a moribund program, going 35-28 and leading the Cyclones to four straight bowl games, including last season’s Fiesta Bowl. Iowa State went 9-3 last season.

“The University has made a terrific commitment to Cyclone football and I’m thrilled to continue to move this program forward,” Campbell said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) throws a pass again Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Ronnie Perkins (7) in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Oklahoma top No. 6 Iowa State to win Big 12 title

Tre Brown’s interception with just more than a minute remaining sealed No. 10 Oklahoma’s 27-21 win over No. 6 Iowa State, giving the Sooners their sixth consecutive Big 12 championship.

The Sooners (8-2) are likely headed back to the AT&T Stadium to less than two weeks to play in the Cotton Bowl.

Iowa State (8-3) came just short in its bid to win its first conference title since 1912.

The Cyclones had steadily cut into Oklahoma’s big early lead, getting one last shot after holding the Sooners to a field goal with 2:01 to play.

Iowa State quickly drove down to the Sooners 34, when on third and 11, Nik Bonitto chased after Brock Purdy and forced a high throw and Brown came down with the pick — the Sooners’ third of the game — to seal the win.

It was the third consecutive Big 12 Championship Game that was helped by a big play from Brown.

In 2018, Brown sacked Texas’ Sam Ehlinger in the end zone for a safety. Last year, his late tackle prevented a late Baylor touchdown and helped force overtime.

Then there was Saturday, when Brown’s two big kickoff returns helped spark a listless Oklahoma offense before he came up with the game’s biggest defensive play.

Spencer Rattler threw for 272 yards and a touchdown and Rhamondre Stevenson ran for 97 yards.

But Brown was the star of the day.

His first big kick return, a 43-yarder late in the first half, helped Oklahoma quickly answer Iowa State’s first touchdown and swing the momentum back the Sooners’ way before half.

It took Oklahoma just four plays to get a touchdown of their own, a 9-yard run by Rattler, to take the 24-7 lead into the break.

But outside of that, Oklahoma’s offense was mostly dormant after a quick start.

After the Sooners built that 14-0 lead on the first three drives, Iowa State held the Sooners to punts on seven of their next 10 drives, with two field goals and that lone touchdown the only scores for OU.

Purdy threw for 322 yards and a touchdown, but the three interceptions helped keep the Cyclones away from a historic season.

Breece Hall was held to a season-low 79 yards, though he did score two touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) celebrates after a throwing a touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via USA TODAY Sports

Sooners go for six-peat in Big 12 title game vs. Iowa State

Oklahoma has been the unquestioned top dog in the Big 12 since Lincoln Riley’s arrival as offensive coordinator in 2015.

During Riley’s tenure with the Sooners, which includes him moving up to head coach starting with the 2017 season, Oklahoma has won five consecutive Big 12 championships, with a chance to win a sixth Saturday when the No. 10 Sooners face No. 6 Iowa State in the conference title game in Arlington, Texas.

While the Sooners are the bluebloods, Iowa State is far from it. The Cyclones haven’t won a football conference title since 1912 and have never won one outright (they tied Nebraska that year).

But Riley, now in his fourth season as Oklahoma’s head coach, wants to be sure this game isn’t painted as David vs. Goliath.

“This isn’t some Rudy story,” Riley said. “This is not (that) they’re just finding a way with bad players. They have good players, and they have had good players.

“They combine good players, good scheme and good coaches, and you’re gonna, a lot of times, have a good result.”

When Matt Campbell arrived at Iowa State in 2016, the Cyclones hadn’t had a winning season in six year and hadn’t won at least eight games since they won nine in 2000.

Campbell said he doesn’t see Saturday’s game as an endpoint or pinnacle even though it’ll be the biggest game in Cyclones’ history.

“From my end, I never put a number on it or a finality to it,” Campbell said. “I think the reality was that where we were when we got here … is trying to hammer away at the things that we could control (and) hopefully allowing those things that we could control manifest into developing a consistent, competitive football program.”

The teams enter as two of the hottest in college football.

Iowa State (8-2, 8-1 Big 12) is riding a five-game winning streak, with quarterback Brock Purdy playing his best of late. Over the past 3 1/2 games since throwing three first-half interceptions against Baylor in early November, Purdy has been spectacular, throwing for 903 yards and 10 touchdowns without an interception.

Oklahoma (7-2, 6-2) has won six consecutive games since losing 37-30 at Iowa State on Oct. 3.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler has been a force for the Sooners’ improvement since an 0-2 start in Big 12 play threatened to end Oklahoma’s run of conference titles.

“He’s still being the aggressive player that we want him to be but certainly has done a good job here the last several games of not making very many mistakes or putting our team or our offense in bad situations,” Riley said.

While Rattler’s growth has been a boost, another has been the additions of running back Rhamondre Stevenson and defensive end Ronnie Perkins for the Sooners. Each served six-game suspensions because of a failed drug test last year. The suspensions ended in late October.

While Campbell praises Perkins in particular, he says the Sooners are a much different team elsewhere than they were more than two months ago.

“A very young team that was extremely talented that has grown into what you’ve seen from Oklahoma year after year,” Campbell said. “And that’s a dynamic football team.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State running back Breece Hall (28) gets away from West Virginia linebacker Tony Fields II (1) during their football game at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday. Iowa State takes a 21-0 lead over West Virginia into halftime. Mandatory Credit: Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 Iowa State routs West Virginia to reach Big 12 title game

No. 9 Iowa State won its first regular season conference championship in 108 years Saturday with a dominant performance, routing visiting West Virginia 42-6 and earning a spot in the Big 12 title game on Dec. 19.

The Cyclones (8-2, 8-1 Big 12) have won eight of nine since a season-opening loss to No. 25 Louisiana, and looked the part of a top-10 team as they dismantled the Mountaineers’ excellent defense behind a near-perfect performance by quarterback Brock Purdy.

Purdy completed 14 straight passes at one point and finished 20 of 23 for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Iowa State gained 483 total yards for the day against a team that entered the game ranked fourth in total defense and first in pass defense.

Defensively, the Cyclones kept West Virginia (5-4, 4-4) off the board until a 32-yard field goal by Tyler Sumpter with 12 minutes left in the game. The Mountaineers managed just 263 yards against an aggressive defense that also recorded three sacks.

Iowa State scored the only points it would need with 5:51 left in the first quarter when Breece Hall capped an 80-yard drive by bouncing 23 yards off right tackle for a touchdown. That was the first of three scoring drives of 10 or more plays in the half.

Purdy made it 14-0 43 seconds into the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run. His 2-yard scoring strike to Landen Akers with 2:49 remaining in the half polished off a 76-yard march that lasted over five minutes and ushered the Cyclones into halftime with a 21-0 advantage.

Iowa State didn’t let West Virginia up for air in the third quarter. Purdy found Charlie Kolar for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 3:10 remaining, and Kene Nwangwu turned it into a rout with a 47-yard scoring jaunt up the middle with seven seconds left.

The game’s remainder was a celebration for the 15,000 fans allowed into Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones could have won the old Big 8 Conference crown in 1976, but lost their last game to Oklahoma State.

–Field Level Media