Big 12 News

Matt Campbell Rightly Defends Kicker Jace Gilbert From Iowa State Fan Base After K-State Loss

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Iowa

The Iowa State Cyclones fell to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in Big 12 play following their 10-9 loss to Kansas State at home on Saturday night in Ames.

The Cyclones are playing great defense, but the offense is clearly a work in progress. That being said, if Xavier Hutchinson catches a ball on the left sideline that he probably catches 99/100 times, do the Cyclones kick a game-winning field goal for a 12-10 victory? Who knows? And I understand that’s not how football works. But the Cyclones are a couple of plays away from being 2-1 in Big 12 play, if not 3-0.


However, after the loss, Matt Campbell felt the need to come to the defense of his kicker, Jace Gilbert, who hit three field goals on Saturday night one week after he missed three in Lawrence as part of a 14-11 loss to the Jayhawks.

Campbell said, “You talk about, our fanbase unfortunately tried to fry an 18-year-old kicker last week, and our 18-year-old kicker responded and went 3 for 3 tonight in a big time situation. So, man there’s a lot of things we could sit here about. We didn’t win the football game, you can put as much of that on me. I sit in the offensive room, so if you want to complain about me, put it on me.”

Campbell also noted in the postgame, according to Cyclone Fanatic, that 20 former Iowa State players asked him for Jace Gilbert’s number following the loss last week and that that is exactly the kind of program he’s trying to build.

Matt Campbell is never one to rip off the hot take. He carefully picks and chooses his words. But this is the most disappointment he’s appeared to show in the Iowa State fan base since he got to Ames.


And guess what? He’s absolutely right.

This was always going to be a year that saw a ton of turnover at key positions with guys off to the NFL, and when that happens, sometimes a play here or there is the difference between being 3-3 overall and 5-1 overall. That’s college football.

And do I need to repeat the sentence I just wrote? Iowa State just lost multiple players to the NFL Draft and are rebuilding at key positions.

Yes, we all want to see the running game improve, along with the offense as a whole. But the defense will keep this team in every game it plays this season. As for what that means for wins and losses, who knows? The Big 12 is absolutely stacked.

But, there’s nothing wrong with the program at large. Any fan thinking otherwise needs a firmer tongue-lashing from Matt Campbell than the one he politely gave on Saturday night.

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