- By Cody Daniel Diehards
The excitement surrounding Matt Campbell’s Iowa State Cyclones in unlike any the program has enjoyed in recent memory.
Fresh off of a stellar 2017 season in which Iowa State notched wins over No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 TCU, and finished with an 8-5 record following the program’s first bowl appearance since 2012 and first bowl victory since 2009.
This all came after the Cyclones won just three games in Campbell’s debut season in 2017. Bearing in mind that five-game improvement and the cast of key contributors set to call Jack Trice Stadium home in 2018, Iowa State was named among ESPN’s teams feeling the excitement since bowl season.
“Whenever the NCAA grants a sixth year of eligibility, it ranks as something of a surprise,” ESPN’s Mitch Sherman said. “So even though Iowa State was hopeful — while still euphoric in the wake of its first bowl appearance since 2012 — when QB Kyle Kempt learned in February that he could (and would) return this year, the excitement meter skyrocketed.”
“And it’s not just Kempt who has Iowa State still abuzz three months after coach Matt Campbell kept his word and stayed in Ames when opportunities elsewhere would have existed if he wanted to look for them,” Sherman added. “No player anywhere does more and gets noticed less than Iowa State running back David Montgomery.”
In hopes of taking that next step in 2018, not only will Iowa State return key pieces in the form of Kyle Kempt and David Montgomery, but the Big 12 as a whole will be down, with Oklahoma, TCU and Oklahoma State each losing an abundance of proven productivity. Although the Cyclones will lose the likes of talents such Allen Lazard and Joel Lanning, the corner has been turned and more notably, a winning culture has been establish.
For that reason along, there’s reason for Iowa State to feel the excitement following the bowl season.
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