In OU, Iowa State's Matt Campbell still sees 'an extremely talented team'

The Cyclones coach acknowledges the Sooners are young at many positions across the board, but even after the K-State loss, he says OU's youth is "flashing all over the screen"
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Iowa State coach Matt Campbell saw the film.

He watched Kansas State go into Norman on Saturday and take down the No. 3-ranked Sooners 38-35. He certainly noticed as OU coughed up a 21-point lead late in the third quarter and failed to respond to adversity.

So what was Campbell’s takeaway as he prepares to host the Sooners this Saturday with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff in Ames?

“It’s an extremely talented team,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he noticed “some youth that is kind of growing in their system. I think that’s the thing that you see as you watch them, just how truly talented they are, and some of those young guys just kind of coming into their own.”

Oklahoma’s 60-man depth chart features just seven active seniors, or 12 percent. By contrast, there are 32 freshmen or sophomores listed — or more than half. Many of those young Sooners withered in the late stages of Saturday’s game.

Campbell’s Cyclones squad, meanwhile, features 11 seniors on the 53-man two-deep, or 21 percent, and only 23 freshmen or sophomores.

It’s no coincidence, then, that Iowa State — which built a nine-point lead three times against TCU in the second half — answered emphatically each time the Horned Frogs responded with a big-play touchdown.

  • When TCU scored on an odd fumble return to cut it to 16-14 early in the third quarter, Iowa State went 75 yards in three plays, including a 49-yard touchdown that made it 23-14.
  • When another TCU touchdown cut it to 23-21 late in the third quarter, Iowa State responded with a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to make it 30-21.
  • And when TCU busted a 48-yard TD pass to cut it to 30-28 midway through the fourth quarter, Iowa State’s offense flipped the field, and the Cyclones defense got an interception that led to another touchdown and a 37-28 lead with 2:49 left.

Oklahoma, on the other hand, answered just one of K-State’s four consecutive touchdowns, and then couldn’t respond after the Wildcats’ go-ahead field goal.

Still, Campbell comes away impressed with Oklahoma.

“It’s a team that’s only played two football games,” Campbell said. “So, a lot of areas where they got a lot of guys back, and a lot of areas where they got a lot of really young, talented players that are flashing all over the screen. So I think a very similar OU team to what we’ve played in the past.”

Campbell expects whatever ills the Sooners suffered last week to be shored up when they show up to Jack Trice Stadium.

“That’s one of the things that you know about OU: not only are they gonna have super talented players, but they’r really well coached — offensively, defensively and special teams. That’s why they’ve had the success that they’ve had.”

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