Iowa State snapped a three-game losing streak last Saturday with a road win at TCU and the signal-caller got his groove back.
Purdy completed 18 of his 23 pass attempts, threw his first touchdown in the last three games and finished with the second-highest quarterback rating in the Big 12 over the weekend. It was a fresh breath of air for the Cyclones’ offense. After all, the unit played extremely balanced, with 211 yards through the air and 213 on the ground.
The 37 points Iowa State scored was the teams’ highest in the past four games. However, it’s amazing Matt Campbell’s team clawed their way to a win. The Cyclones had fewer total yards, first downs and less time of possession to the Horned Frogs.
The Cyclones’ defense continues to be leaky and needs work. Still, the 21 points the Iowa State scored in the second half Saturday, was the most from the team since the victory over Kansas last season. Now the Cyclones have won three of their last four games against Big 12 competition.
The key aspect that has helped Purdy and the Cyclones get back on the winning track is running back Breece Hall. The true sophomore has had two-straight 100-yard games to start the season and kept opposing defenses from keying in on Purdy. The fact that Hall is a threat to move the chains everytime he touches the ball has relieved some pressure off Iowa State’s star quarterback.
Having All-American tight end Charlie Kolar back in the lineup was beneficial for Purdy. The Arizona native was able to connect with eight different pass catchers, including five that had more than one reception. Having that variety of targets will be key as Iowa State hosts an Oklahoma team this Saturday coming off a humiliating loss.
Now that Campbell’s team has got back to their winning mojo, Cyclone fans will be expecting consistency from Purdy and the offense. The unit can potentially do some damage to the Sooners’ defense, which allowed 334 passing yards in their last game.
Iowa State nearly beat Oklahoma on the road last season, but Campbell decided to go for the two-point conversion instead of taking the game into overtime. That’s why the Cyclones should have the confidence and motivation to finish the job this time around.
Regardless of the matter, Purdy is beginning to look again like the quarterback that led the Big 12 in passing yards, attempts and completions. Purdy doesn’t have to pull out all the stops and put the offense on his back, because he has an All-Big 12 caliber running back to hand the ball off to.
Offensive Coordinator Tom Manning has options and the big boys up front blocking for Purdy continues to mature game by game. It’ll be intriguing to see how Manning utilizes Purdy’s skill set for the remainder of the season, but as of right now the Cyclones’ backfield is finally playing up to their potential.