Iowa State’s Matt Campbell reaffirms his trust in quarterback Brock Purdy after benching
Matt Campbell restated Monday his belief that Brock Purdy remains the best quarterback to get Iowa State’s offense operating with the same efficiency as it’s moved in the past.
“Brock and I have a great relationship, and really he’s got great trust in who we are, and equally, we have great trust in who he is,” Campbell said on the Big 12 Conference teleconference Monday.
Campbell benched one of the top quarterbacks in school history with 12:53 left in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s 27-17 loss against Iowa at Jack Trice Stadium.
Trailing by 17 points, Campbell inserted redshirt freshman Hunter Dekkers, after three possessions in a row consisted of a Breece Hall fumble the Hawkeyes returned for a touchdown, and two Purdy interceptions.
“I would assume Brock’s going to be our guy,” Campbell said when asked after the game if he expects Purdy to continue as the starter. “Did we put Hunter Dekkers in to challenge Brock’s position on our football team? Absolutely not.
“What we put Hunter in to do is kind of allow Brock to gather himself and really settle the game back down and really try to go win the football game. Even at that time in the fourth quarter, we felt like we could continue to stay in the game and had opportunities to maybe do that.”
Campbell emphasized after the game that’s there’s no quarterback situation.
“We believe in Brock,” he said. “Brock’s a tremendous leader in our program. He’s a guy that’s worked really, really hard. If I know Brock Purdy, he’ll bounce back better than ever.”
Campbell has talked about player-driven leadership a lot since last season’s Fiesta Bowl victory against Oregon. It’s not been coach speak. It’s been fact, and now, it’s something that especially jumps to the forefront after two weeks of the season.
“We have great (player) leaders,” Campbell said.
While Campbell and his staff continue dissecting video of his team’s 16-10 victory against Northern Iowa, and turnover-plagued loss against Iowa on Saturday, it’s the eight Super Seniors from 2020 who must handle things from the players’ side.
“What gives me the confidence, is that our kids and relationship and trust — whether that’s Brock or any of our players— all of our kids know that we’re always straining to do everything in the best interest of our kids and our program,” Campbell said on the Big 12 Conference teleconference Monday. “Whether it’s in-game adjustments to give our kids or our team the best opportunity to have success, or it’s off-season decisions or changes we’re making — you’re relying on your trust and relationships.”
Proof of how 14th-ranked Iowa State reacts from the Cy-Hawk series loss, and Purdy’s surprise benching, won’t be known until Saturday’s 9:30 p.m. game at UNLV. The Rebels are 0-2 after losing against Eastern Washington 35-33 in two overtimes, and 37-10 against Arizona State.
“I don’t know if we have a definite answer why, other than the recurring theme for us,” Campbell said when asked about an offense that’s scored just three touchdowns in two games. “It’s not an out, it’s reality — in our precision and our detail, we’re like a hair off.”
Of 20 Iowa State possessions this season, just four have lasted longer than 10 plays. Campbell credited both his team’s mistakes, and the defenses his team has faced in two games..
“It’s why you like to play such meaningful, impactful games early in the season,” Campbell told Big 12 reporters. “It gives you a great gauge where you’re at, and maybe where you’re not at.”