Iowa State trampled over Oregon in the 2021 Fiesta Bowl, proving Matt Campbell’s value, Breece Hall’s productivity and the Ducks’ flaws.
The Fiesta Bowl ended with an icy Gatorade bath for Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell as the Cyclones overwhelmed Oregon in a 34-17 victory. The game reinforced the Big 12’s bowl success while piling on the Pac-12.
What other takeaways can be gleaned from the action in Glendale?
Matt Campbell produced Iowa State’s best-ever season
The history of Iowa State football isn’t littered with many trophies. They’ve won the Big 12 once and have won nine games just three times. The most recent of those nine-win seasons came during a global pandemic and included wins over Texas and Oklahoma.
Put simply, Matt Campbell is doing work in Ames. A dominating win over Oregon is further proof. A Top 10 finish will be his reward.
Mario Cristobal couldn’t carry the Pac-12’s water
The Pac-12 fell to 0-2 in bowl season, finishing without a win for the conference for the first time since 1980.
It definitely didn’t help that USC, Washington and Arizona State opted out of the postseason, but the conference could have used some help with the Pac-12 champions picking up the slack. They didn’t.
Oregon managed to go 0-for-6 on third downs, failing to convert at least one for the first time since 2001. They committed four turnovers. They let the Cyclones run all over them with 228 yards on the ground and gave up 2-of-3 fourth-down attempts and a 57 percent conversion rate on third down.
Additionally, Oregon may have a brewing quarterback problem. Tyler Shough was benched for parts of the game and saw senior Anthony Brown lead the team in passing. If Cristobal isn’t convinced Shough can be the guy next year, Oregon will have problems. Incoming freshman Ty Thompson is a four-star recruit and the No. 4 pro-style quarterback, according to 247Sports and could get in the mix for a starting job.
Iowa State’s Breece Hall could win the Heisman in 2021
Can you name the leading rusher in college football? His name is Breece Hall and he’s a name you’re going to want to remember.
The sophomore added 136 yards and two touchdowns to finish as the nation’s leading rusher with 1,572 yards and is second to Najee Harris with 21 touchdowns. He scored in every game for Iowa State this season and finished with nine 100-yard games in 12 appearances, the most in the nation.
Hall came on strong in the middle of last season for Iowa State but he proved he’s the real deal with an All-American season in 2020 and will be among the Heisman favorites in 2021.