For almost the entire history of Iowa State football, it has been known as one of the doormats of the Power 5 conferences. The Cyclones have a program win percentage of 45.6% and haven’t had a coach leave Ames with a winning record since the late Earl Bruce. All of that changed when Matt Campbell took over the reins.
Campbell, entering his 6th season in Ames, has taken Iowa State football to heights never seen before, and expectations are at an all-time high after the Cyclones Big 12 Championship appearance and Fiesta Bowl victory over the Oregon Ducks, a season ago. The expectations are also helped by the fact that Iowa State is returning 20 of 22 starters for the 2021 season, and one of the most experienced rosters in all of college football.
The Cyclones will be lead offensively by All-Big 12 quarterback Brock Purdy, and running back Breece Hall, who is considered by many to be the best running back in the country, and Charlie Kolar, who is considered among the best tight ends in college football. Iowa State returns one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country. Of the returning lineman, the group returns 77 career starts in the room, setting up the Cyclones for great success up front.
Defensively, the Cyclones look as tough and as versatile as ever. Jon Heacock’s defense returns pre-season All-Americans in linebacker Mike Rose and safety Greg Eisworth. Rose, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, is expected to lead an Iowa State defense that was #1 in scoring defense in the conference last season, an exceptional mark in the high-flying, offense-driven Big 12.
The Cyclones open their season against the UNI Panthers at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, September 4th, kickoff is slated for 3:30 PM.