Oct 5, 2019; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell watches his team play the TCU Horned Frogs at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
The following is a complete transcript of Matt Campbell’s time on Monday morning’s Big 12 Teleconference.
Q: I know during the bye week you evaluate everything and probably give guys some time off, I’m sure, and refine some things, but is there kind of one important area you guys are trying to identify for the last third of the season here?
Campbell: No, I think that’s the positive for us. We know leaving this portion of the season is we know exactly what wins and we know exactly what loses. I think for us it’s just the ability to pound away at the fundamentals and details of making sure as we get into some of these big games down the stretch run that we’ve got the ability to really hang on the fundamentals and details of what allows us to win football games.
Q: When you went back and watched the film from last weekend, I know, obviously, you stand by Brock Purdy, he’s been a good player, but was there anything that was different from your first impressions once you went back and watched it on film of why things went a little haywire towards the end?
Campbell: Yeah, I really think the reality of the game had nothing to do with how the game ended, it had everything to do with how the game started. I think my greatest disappointment for our football team was the first quarter of that football game. I think from an offensive and defensive standpoint, just really not the football team that we’ve shown to be and what we want to be. Next thing you know, you’re in a football game that doesn’t really match the style of play that’s allowed you to have success. Really falls on my shoulders as the head football coach. I didn’t have our kids prepared and ready to play in the early portion of the football game and we got into a football game that doesn’t match who we are.
Q: How much will this week, or really almost even two weeks by the time you play again, help Greg (Eisworth) and is it possible for him to get fully healthy or is it something he will just have to battle throughout the rest of the season?
Campbell: I think this will be really big for Greg, as well as a lot of our guys. It is a football team that is dinged up in a lot of ways. I think this is probably the best time a bye week has ever come for a football program that I’ve been apart of. A guy like Greg, though, for sure. I think he can make great strides in the consistency of his health with really kind of after the sixth play of the game, getting that game off and then getting the ability to have two full weeks of treatment and kind of strengthening. I think he’ll be in great shape for the final stretch run of things.
Q: Defensively, I know we talked after the game about some of those big plays, but in the second half, it seemed like things really clamped. I think Oklahoma State got just two field goals. What did you see in the adjustments that defense made?
Campbell: I’ll be really honest with you, I think that’s the disappointment for me in the defense is not that there wasn’t an adjustment, but it was that we didn’t play our brand of football in the first quarter. I think our ability to run to the ball, do the little things well, really were lacking early in the football game. I think that put us in a really tough situation. I think the collective whole between our offense being really inefficient early and then our defense not playing the brand of football we want to play kind of put us in a really tough spot. A lot of that goes onto my shoulders. That’s something I have to do a great job of getting figured out, but I do agree with you. I thought we did a great job in a lot of areas once the game got going to give ourselves a chance to get back in the football game, but it became a little bit too little too late.
Q: Just one little housekeeping thing, with JaQuan (Bailey) getting invited to the Hula Bowl, do we read anything into that? Has he accepted?
Campbell: What’s the Hula Bowl? I don’t even know what that is. What is that?
Q: I think it is a senior all-star game.
Campbell: Oh, no, JaQuan’s plan is to come back. We’re going to redshirt him and then he’ll have the ability to come back for his senior year. I wouldn’t read anything into that. To be honest with you, that would be foreign to me of even knowing exactly what that is.
Q: When you talk about disappointment in your defense, just as an outsider, it looked like your defense played very well Saturday except for three plays. They hit you with three big plays, the rest of it you sort of kept your foot on them. Is that the game plan against OSU to not give up big plays? They have been a big play offense.
Campbell: That’s a great point. That’s the disappointment of it a little bit because if you look at our defense, in general, is that’s kind of been our pillar. Working really hard to not give up the big play. I think probably more so not taking anything away from Oklahoma State, they’ve obviously got some really talented players, but it’s how those big plays occured that I think is frustrating a little bit. Those are things that we’ve got to continue to hammer away at. They were all detail and had opportunities to not be given up. I think it’s when it happened. It was early in the football game and kind of forced the flow of the game to go a little bit haywire and away from what’s allowed us to have success.
Q: Just wanted to follow up, I know since you said JaQuan will redshirt, I know that was kind of the assumption, but what is the outlook now with rehab now that the surgery has occurred? What is kind of the long road ahead for him?
Campbell: I think the best case scenario is by the time we get back here in January in February is he’s cleared for the winter workout portion of things and then, obviously, spring practice. I think that would be really huge for him. I think that was the plan all along is to make sure we did everything in our power to get him a full senior season of January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August to prepare for his senior year. If we can get that done, I think it would be a great win for JaQuan.