AMES – Iowa State coach Matt Campbell has liked the play of his offensive line for most of the season.
He recognizes the group struggled against Baylor, but he likes how the group bounced back against a really good TCU front seven that likes to send pressure in Iowa State’s 49-24 win over TCU on Saturday.
“I thought they were much better today,” Campbell said on Saturday after the game. “Bryce Meeker, great kid, I thought he played really well today. He had a tough game last week. I think it shows — Bryce is a very good testament to our team – that you just have to stay the course. Just keep playing.
“If you want to single out one guy – I was really proud of Bryce. Nobody wants to not play your best game last week, but man, that guy came in today, I thought he was really special.”
Iowa State’s offensive line kept the pocket clean for quarterback Brock Purdy and gave him all day to throw. He finished with an incredible stat line of 19-24 passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns through the air and 12 rushing attempts for 102 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
“The offensive line did a great job picking up blocks,” Purdy said. “The offensive line did an amazing job today. If they didn’t do the job they did, we’re not scoring all these points.”
In the running game, the offensive line opened up holes for running back Johnnie Lang, who had his best game as a Cyclone.
Lang finished with 16 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
On the two touchdowns, Lang ran in untouched. He also had a 23-yard run that was made possible by a gaping hole on the left side of the line.
You have free articles remaining.
“Offensive lines, you tell their story at the end of the season,” Campbell said. “Can we take what we did this week and grow from it? Can we be consistent week in and week out? I think that offensive line will tell its story at the end of the football season.”
The offensive line wasn’t the only line unit to play well on Saturday. Iowa State’s defensive line came up big as well.
TCU has two of the best running backs in the Big 12 in Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua. Anderson was averaging 8.2 yards per carry coming into the game and Olonilua was averaging 5.2.
On Saturday, Iowa State cut those averages by nearly half in Anderson’s case, and rendered Olonilua a non-factor.
Anderson rushed 11 times for 49 yards – averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Olonilua carried the ball nine times for just 13 yards – 1.3 yards per carry.
Iowa State got two sacks on TCU quarterbacks Max Duggan and Alex Delton and registered eight tackles for a loss.
“I thought we took a big step,” Campbell said. “I thought we’d been OK early in the football season. I think (defensive line) coach (Eli) Rasheed, myself, coach (Jon) Heacock challenged that defensive front. I think just our program in general is getting everybody’s best shot. Other teams are coming for you, and you have to be ready to raise your level of excellence every week.
“We have really good players (on the defensive line). Guys that have the ability to do what they did today, and I thought that was just big. It was big to watch that group really take a huge step.”