The Iowa State Cyclones kicked off the 2022 college football season on Saturday at home against Southeast Missouri State. Iowa State is turning over a new leaf with key players like Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, Mike Rose and others moving onto the NFL or graduating.
That group helped transform expectations in Ames, but there is a new group of Cyclones players who is ready to take the reins and keep the momentum going for Matt Campbell’s program.
The Cyclones took care of business on Saturday with a 42-10 win over the Redhawks on Saturday. Here are three thoughts on the game.
1. Dekkers to Hutchinson
This was predicted to be the Iowa State offensive connection to watch this season and that duo got off to a hot start in this game. The new starting quarterback found Hutchinson for the first three scores of the game, coincidentally the first two from exactly 33 yards out. The third touchdown made it 20-0 with 7:54 in the first half on an eight-yard connection.
Hutchinson finished the first half with eight receptions for 128 yards and those three scores. Last season, he had five touchdown catches and 987 receiving yards, which led the team, but tight end Charlie Kolar took a lot of attention for opposing defenses. Clearly, Hutchinson has become “that guy” for this offense, as it was on full display on Saturday, and now Big 12 defenses know they’ll have to stop him to beat the Cyclones.
2. No Slow Start
Matt Campbell has taken Iowa State to new levels as a football program. If there is one thing to that’s fair to critique, it’s his notoriously slow starts. Last season, Iowa State beat Northern Iowa 16-10 in Week 1 then lost to Iowa. In 2020, they lost to Louisiana to open the season. In 2019, they needed triple overtime to beat Northern Iowa and then lost to Iowa. 2018 saw a 1-3 start to the season. You get the point.
The Cyclones jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back in this one. There was some angst at the end of the first half, when SEMO scored 10 in a row to close it to 21-10 at halftime. But by Iowa State Week 1 standards, that’s still a blowout. The Cyclones followed up that first-place performance with another 21 points in the second half while also pitching a shutout after halftime to make the final 42-10.
3. Now, it’s Cy-Hawk Week
Let’s be honest, I know it’s tough to not get caught looking ahead, but Cy-Hawk week is here, and it has likely been on the minds of many around Cyclone Nation for weeks. And for Matt Campbell, despite all of his success, he has yet to beat the Hawkeyes in his career. Campbell is 0-5 against Iowa since he arrived on campus in 2016 (the two teams did not meet in the COVID 2020 season). Four of those five losses have been by 10 points or less. In fact, Iowa’s current six-game winning streak is the longest against Iowa State since they won 15 in a row from 1983 to 1997.
However, add in the fact that Iowa mightily struggled against South Dakota State in Week 1, winning 7-3, and there is even more intrigue to this game next week. It’s become one of the most underrated rivalries in college football and it takes place next Saturday in Iowa City.