AMES — Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy played one of the worst games of his storied career, statistically.
He completed just 13 of his 27 passes for 138 yards. While that’s not good, he topped it off with three interceptions in No. 9 Iowa State's. 27-17 loss to No. 10 Iowa.
He was replaced by redshirt freshman Hunter Dekkers in the fourth quarter.
“Were some of those balls tipped? Should they have been caught? Was there a different area the ball should’ve gone in the progression?” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “I’ll have a better answer once I watch the tape. My thought in the fourth quarter was to get Hunter into the football games and let Brock kind of gather himself.”
Dekkers played well, completing 11 of his 16 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown to Tarique Milton.
“From the perspective of, did we put Hunter Dekkers in to challenge Brock’s position on our football team? Absolutely not,” Campbell said. “What we put Hunter in to do was to let Brock gather himself and then for Hunter to settle the game back down and really to try and win the football game. Even at that time in the fourth quarter, we felt like we could win the game and had opportunities to do that.
“We believe in Brock and he’s a tremendous leader in our program. He certainly doesn’t want the end result of what happened today. He’s a guy that’s worked really, really hard and if I know Brock Purdy, he’ll bounce back better than ever.”
Iowa State couldn’t get out of its own way on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium as No. 10 Iowa beat No. 9 Iowa State 27-17.
But instead of De’Monte Ruth plowing over his own returner, Tarique Milton to give Iowa the ball and the win, that was the whole game.
Iowa State kept running over itself.
“As I told our team, when we’ve played really great in these moments during our tenure, we’ve had great calm, we’ve had great clearity to do our job and most importantly we’ve had great execution,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have that today.
“When that doesn’t occur, it comes back to the head football coach and his responsibility of how he prepares the football team to be ready for those moments and opportunities. I would put the onus on myself to make sure our kids are able to execute the way they need to execute.”
The Cyclones’ star players made the most pivotal mistakes.
In the second half, Iowa punter Tory Taylor pinned Iowa State at the six-yard line. On the first play of the series, running back Breece Hall fumbled, which was returned by Iowa’s Jack Campbell for a six-yard touchdown.
The series after the Hall fumble returned for a touchdown, Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy’s pass went right through the hands of receiver Xavier Hutchinson and into the ready and waiting arms of Seth Benson, who hauled it in for an easy interception.
While the defense stepped up, Iowa kicker Caleb Shudak still put points on the board with a 51-yard field goal.
Things kept piling up for the Cyclones after that. Breece Hall finally seemed to get things going after a few good runs but after a two-yard Hall catch, Purdy’s pass was tipped by defensive end Joe Evans and was intercepted by Matt Hankins.
Iowa settled for another field goal but at that point it was 27-10 and with the way the Cyclones offense was going, Iowa was going to win comfortably.
That was actually Hankins’ second interception of the game. He had one in the first half, too. Iowa running back Tyler Goodson capped off a 49-yard drive after the interception with a touchdown.
While Iowa forced four turnovers, Iowa State wasn’t able to force any. That’s winning in the margins, something Iowa State coach Matt Campbell preaches.
Iowa also got points off of every Iowa State turnover. Purdy was benched in the fourth quarter for redshirt freshman Hunter Dekkers. Purdy passed for 138 yards and three interceptions completing 13 of his 27 passes. Dekkers didn’t completely change the tide for the Cyclones. But he did complete 11 of his 16 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown to receiver Tarique Milton.
Hall was once again held in check, rushing for just 69 yards on 16 carries with a rushing touchdown — Iowa State’s only touchdown of the game. He was also tied with the second most receptions. He had four catches for 24 yards.
“Whatever I have to do to get our team swung around, I will,” Campbell said. “The lack of efficiency on the offensive side of the ball has happened the last two football games and we’ve seen similar patterns.
“We’ve always been a team that’s been able to correct its mistakes and that’s probably my greatest frustration and that lies on me as the coach, not the kids. I’ll certainly take the blame for it. It’s not the team’s issue, it’s not the senior’s issue — it’s a Matt Campbell issue and we’ll do a great job of getting it corrected.”
While the offense for Iowa State was abysmal, turning the ball over four times, the defense played well.
In fact, if the offense didn’t hand Iowa good field position after good field position, Iowa State’s defense easily played well enough to win.
Iowa gained just 173 yards total yards and just 23 of those came in the second half. But the good field position the defense gave it was enough to put points on the board.
Iowa State’s defense was led by the usual suspects. Jake Hummel had eight tackles, Mike Rose had seven, Zach Petersen had seven and Isheem Young had six.
Iowa running back Tyler Goodson rushed for just 55 yards on 21 carries and Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras passed for just 106 yards on 11 for 21.
The one thing missing from Iowa State’s defense was a turnover or two of its own.
The Cyclones have never forced an Iowa turnover in the Campbell era.
“We beat ourselves when it comes to this game,” defensive end Enyi Uwazurike said. “We made a lot of mistakes we shouldn’t have. We didn’t do well at the turnover margin. That piece hurts as a defense. Hopefully we can take this one on the chin and respond the same way we did the last few years.”