It has been several years since expectations were as high at Iowa State as they are heading into this football season. The Cyclones return 16 players with starting experience of a team that posted top five upsets of Oklahoma and TCU on its way to an 8-5 record and a win over Memphis in the Liberty Bowl. As he enters his third season at the helm coach Matt Campbell is dealing with the expectations.
Campbell says there is better talent and better leadership across the board.
One of the top returnees is quarterback Kyle Kempt, who was granted an extra year after guiding ISU to five victories a year ago. Campbell says the experience he gained has showed in preseason practice.
Improvement begins with a run game that ranked ninth in the Big 12 a year ago.
For the first time in his three years at the helm Campbell is dealing with lofty expectations.
A year ago at Media Day nobody asked Kyle Kempt for an interview. This year he was the most sought after player.
Kempt says despite having success last year there are plenty of areas for him to improve.
Kempt says one of the strengths of Matt Campbell as a coach is his consistent message and the Cyclones hope to take the consistency to the field this season.
ISU opens the season at home against South Dakota State on September first.