Ohio is in the midst of its tough nonconference schedule. However, it is not letting up.
Ohio will travel to Ames, Iowa, Saturday for its third nonconference game against Iowa State, who has started the season 2-0. Iowa State has been a dominant team in the Big 12 so far this season, and just pulled off an upset at Iowa last week.
Here is everything you need to know about Iowa State before Saturday’s game:
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is in his seventh season with the team. Over the course of those seasons, Campbell is 44-34. His wins are the second most in program history, and his .564 winning percentage is the best by an Iowa State Coach since 1928.
Because of his success, Campbell’s name has come up in conversation surrounding past and recent head coaching positions. Most recently, he has been named as a potential head coach candidate at Nebraska.
Despite having five quarterbacks listed on its roster, Iowa State has stuck to only one quarterback this season: Hunter Dekkers. The redshirt sophomore has out thrown his opponents in Weeks 1 and 2, putting up 477 yards versus his opponents 314.
Dekkers has a lot of passing yards early in the season, but has struggled to throw deep balls. His longest pass this season was for 39 yards. For comparison, Kurtis Rourke’s longest pass this season was for 54 yards.
Xavier Hutchinson continues to be a driving force in the Cyclone’s offense and Dekkers' favorite target. He has by far the most catches on the team with 19 for 226 yards. His four touchdown receptions this season are tied for the third most in the country.
Last week against Iowa, Hutchinson had 11 catches for 98 yards. The game marked his fourth career game with more than 10 receptions. In Week 1 against Southeast Missouri, Hutchinson had eight catches for 128 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cyclones rushing game has also been strong to start the season, and redshirt junior Jirehl Brock has stepped up. Last year, Brock was a reserve running back last season and finished third on the team in rushing yards.
This season, Brock has 43 rush attempts for 206 yards and has put up 100 yards in each of the Cyclones games. Last week at Iowa, he averaged 3.7 yards on each of his 27 rushing attempts.
Iowa State held Iowa to just 150 total yards on offense in Week 2. Last season, Iowa ranked No. 10 in scoring in the Big Ten in 2021.
Nationally, Iowa State ranks 23rd in passing defense and 21st in rushing defense. Ohio will need to work on beating its secondary and defensive line in order to get in the endzone Saturday.
Notes for Ohio:
Traveling to Iowa State will be a tough test for Ohio, who is coming off another difficult nonconference game against Penn State. Ohio gave its best effort at Beaver Stadium, but ultimately could not keep up with Penn State’s top tier program.
Because the Cyclones offense has found a groove in the first game, putting a stop to it will be a challenge. Instead, the Bobcats will have to work on tuning up its own offense in Ames.