Iowa State football's Matt Campbell on confidence in Hunter Dekkers, Tory Taylor's success
AMES — The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series between Iowa State and Iowa football returns to Iowa City for the first time since 2018, and the feeling leading into Saturday’s matchup is much different than years past.
The Cyclones haven’t beaten Iowa since 2014, and the Hawkeyes hold a six-game win streak in the series – with four of those wins coming in Ames.
While the historic rivalry lives on, both Iowa State and Iowa head into the 2022 game after very different performances in Week 1. The Cyclones debuted a new offense against Southeast Missouri in the season opener, with Hunter Dekkers taking over at quarterback and Jirehl Brock filling the gap left by Breece Hall’s move to the NFL.
In Iowa City, the Hawkeyes pulled out a 7-3 win against South Dakota State, in which the offense wasn’t responsible for any points – unless fans count a lone field goal as offense.
Iowa State’s offense is arguably its strongest unit and Iowa’s top squad is its defense after Week 1, but anything could happen Saturday.
“Obviously, this is a great rivalry,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell told media on Tuesday. “You love playing in these games, you love being a part of it, you love coaching and what a great challenge to see where we are as a 2022 football team.”
Here's what Campbell said ahead of the Iowa State-Iowa matchup in Week 2.
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Hunter Dekkers continues to inspire confidence in Campbell
Dekkers' final stat-line against Southeast Missouri was impressive, especially for a player who spent significant time waiting for his turn behind Brock Purdy.
Twenty-five completions for 293 yards. Four touchdowns. One interception.
Cyclones fans couldn't have asked for a better performance from Iowa State’s new starting quarterback, and Campbell seems to have the same feeling about the newest athlete to earn the starting spot.
“The quarterback position is always hard because there’s only one guy that can go out there and play,” Campbell said. “I think Hunter was continuing to make great strides through last football season, so you felt really comfortable with that.”
Dekkers will need to continue his success into the Week 2 matchup against Iowa. The Hawkeyes boast one of the best defenses in the country right now, and players like Jack Campbell put on a defensive clinic against South Dakota State.
More:Jirehl Brock shines in start, but Iowa State's running back competition still isn't over
Iowa State will need to mitigate Tory Taylor’s effectiveness
Another strong unit in the Iowa program is its special teams.
Punter Tory Taylor finished Saturday’s matchup with 479 yards on 10 punts. He landed seven of those punts inside the 20-yard line and five within the 10-yard line. The special teams unit – as a whole – put South Dakota State in a field position battle that let Iowa’s defense pick up not one, but two safeties by the end of the game.
So, it should come as no surprise that shutting down Taylor and limiting the special teams’ impact will be a priority Saturday.
“He’s an outstanding player,” Campbell said about Taylor. “You talk about the ability to change field position and…they’re also really good in their coverage units. They also have 10 other guys that do a great job around him.
“From our end of it, we’re going to have a great plan for him and then a great plan of attack. At times, we thought we had that last year and at times that didn’t show up when we needed to. But again, huge credit, they have great talent and it’ll be a great challenge for us.”
More:Iowa State football vs. SEMO score, recap: Hunter Dekkers leads Cyclones to 42-10 win
Injury update on Jake Remsburg, Cartevious Norton
There are still question marks in terms of some Iowa State players’ health.
Redshirt junior offensive lineman Jake Remsburg not only didn't play on Saturday against Southeast Missouri, but he didn’t even suit up. It was a big loss for the Cyclones, who could use the experience Remsburg brings to the offensive line, but Iowa State managed to perform well without the West Des Moines native.
As for his health heading into Saturday’s game against Iowa, Campbell didn’t share many details but referred to Remsburg as “an option right now” for the Cy-Hawk matchup.
“He’ll be on the practice field,” Campbell said. “So, I think that’s a huge positive. Will he play? I think I can answer that question on Thursday.”
More:Iowa State football vs. Southeast Missouri report card: Hunter Dekkers carries Cyclones to victory
Another question on the offense is true freshman running back Cartevious Norton. He saw significant playing time early in Week 1, but left the game with an apparent injury. Campbell shared that Norton is dealing with a leg injury and that “it’s doubtful…we’ll even get him to practice this week.”
Alyssa Hertel is the college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.