“We’ve got some elite talent across the board.”. Bitter, on the other hand, was a three-star recruit and was nearly a top-100 player in Florida. The wide receivers, though, are the source of much untapped potential for an offense that hasn’t yet unlocked plays down the field. “And that's just top to bottom. Iowa State is undefeated in the Big 12 Conference. The problems that plagued the passing attack for most of the game seemed to suddenly disappear in Iowa State’s final offensive drive of the game. The same could be said for. Departures. “Collectively, you’d say this is a group that’s really growing,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. And having a guy like [Xavier Hutchinson] come in and add to it a Tarique Milton, a Sean Shaw, a Landen Akers. Most of the Cyclones’ big passing plays have been the result of short and intermediate routes followed by yards after the catch, such as Hutchinson’s 65-yard touchdown against Oklahoma. “I think if we can collectively as a whole team, if we can get that every single down and every single series, I think we’re a really dangerous team.”. Landen Akers, a redshirt senior, has been around for some time too and caught nine passes for 109 yards in 2019. Brock just does Brock, throws the ball to the perfect spot where the corner can’t play it and from there, (I) kind of just took over.”. I think that really helped me.”. 18 Iowa State at No. “It’s great to have a quarterback that has the consistency of Brock,” Campbell said. “Aidan Bitter is another young man that's come in and flashed.”. “Especially when you’re with a good quarterback, you just try to make plays right away. Even if it’s only the second week of October and with seven games left on the schedule, it’s better to be here than anywhere else. “On that play, I saw the safety come down, so I knew it was going to come to me. Hutchinson had eight catches (for 68 yards and a touchdown) and was the only wide receiver … Iowa State only lost two receivers from last year’s squad, but they were big pieces in Tom Manning’s offense. It was a sequence — piling up 57 yards and a touchdown — that looked more like what the Cyclones had achieved in recent weeks after spending much of the game looking more like the outfit that had 145 yards in a loss to Louisiana in the season opener. Campbell likes what he's seen from the group thus far. Those inches are — when you’re playing another really good football team — those are the inches you’ve got to win.”. The same could be said for Landen Akers, who still grabbed nine passed for over 100 yards for the season. “I've gone up against [Xavier Hutchinson] and Daniel Jackson every day. Playing without one of his top wide receivers, Tarique Milton, due to injury, Purdy, according to the official play-by-play, only targeted a wide receiver other than Hutchinson once before the game’s final drive. “Our precision on that last drive, that was on point,” Hutchinson said. Xavier brings a lot to the table and helps that group out a lot. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Visit ESPN to view the Iowa State Cyclones team stats for the 2020 season. Iowa State has added 11 wideouts over the last three recruiting Cycles, which has created extreme depth at the position. Being a dangerous team almost certainly means finding a way to get the wide receivers to be more dynamic and productive. “There were a couple balls where we had the opportunity to make a play or make a catch, and we didn’t make it. 6 Oklahoma State, Peterson: Clean up some faulty play, and Iowa State can still reach its lofty goals. Which begs the question for an offense that currently ranks eighth in the Big 12 in both scoring and yardage: Where are the wide receivers? © 2005-2020 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Whatever the issues, the Iowa State passing attack failed to build on its best game of the season, when quarterback Brock Purdy completed 74% of his passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns against Texas Tech before last week’s bye. Of Iowa State’s 47 pass completions, just 25 have gone to wide receivers. “There are a lot of guys that can do a lot of things,” Campbell said. Matt Campbell has coached plenty of talented receivers in his time at Iowa State. Deshaunte Jones will not be forgotten for a long time in the eyes of Cyclone fans, reeling in 184 catches, over 2,000 yards, and 12 touchdowns in his 4 year career. “Sometimes when you talk about the receivers,” Campbell said, “you’re still not hitting ... some of those other positions that catch the ball and receive the ball.”. Hutchinson is one of the new additions to the wide receivers room, joining the program after spending two seasons at Blinn College, a JUCO in Texas. And they're really good, really challenging. The 24th-ranked Cyclones, for the first time in 60 years, knocked off Oklahoma at home to put themselves in the enviable position of having an inside track to the conference championship game. Milton is coming off a year in which he averaged 20.6 yards a reception, totaling 35 catches and two touchdowns for the season. “Daniel Jackson has come in and really flashed in a really positive way so far early on,” Campbell said. And I think that list has just continued to grow.”. As you move down the line to the younger players, there appears to be a lot of potential. Milton is coming off a year in which he averaged 20.6 yards a reception, totaling 35 catches and two touchdowns for the season. So we're really fortunate in that position group right now, that we have a lot of competition going on day in day out.". Plus, in the age of COVID-19, where players could have to quarantine depending on exposure, depth can only help. Anderson and Porter were both heralded recruits who picked Iowa State over other big-time Power 5 programs. Of those 25, junior college transfer Xavier Hutchinson accounts for 11. Jackson was a high three-star recruit who played in the All-American bowl. Hakeem Butler (born May 16, 1996) is an American football wide receiver and tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). I think that's a huge positive. Hutchinson had eight catches (for 68 yards and a touchdown) and was the only wide receiver to record a catch. 18 Iowa State at No. “Throwing the ball, you’ve got to be able to catch it and we didn’t do that a couple times. Last season, 62% of Iowa State’s completions went to wide receivers, compared with 53% through three games this season. But as Campbell and Iowa State have progressed, the wide receiver room has continued to add talent. And Purdy has options in one of the deepest tight end pools in the country in preseason All-American Charlie Kolar, along with longtime contributors Chase Allen and Dylan Soehner. I think that keeps everybody hungry, wanting to get the ball. If coaches and players are made available to the media, we'll bring you separate coverage of those press conferences in addition to these tri-weekly stories. Brock (Purdy) really calmed me down a little bit. Camp will look a little bit different this season as Iowa State tries to prepare for a season in the midst of a global pandemic. And I look forward to watching their development.". “When you have a running back like Breece, people are going to stack the box and give receivers one-on-one opportunities,” Hutchinson said. Tight ends Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen combined for seven catches while running back Breece Hall had four. More: 'Lulls,' missed opportunities cost No. After weeks of summer workouts, Iowa State began the next stage of its preseason preparations Saturday with the start of fall camp. Against Oklahoma State, which owns one of the Big 12’s best defenses, Purdy was 19 of 34 (55.9%) for 162 yards and an interception. And then you throw in the young talent of [Ezeriah Anderson], Darien Porter and Darren Wilson. “And that's just top to bottom. Previous editions of the Iowa State football primer series can be found here: Sign up for CycloneAlert VIP access and get your first month for just $1! Wilson, a JUCO transfer, picked Iowa State over West Virginia and contributed in 2019. “I think collectively, since June, that group has been in constant competition to see who's going to get the right to get on the field,” Campbell said. Iowa State’s receiving was much more concentrated against the Cowboys as well. A small increase — or decrease — in execution and production can make the difference between playing in Arlington in December or awaiting word from a mid-tier bowl game.
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