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Iowa State coach Matt Campbell’s message never changes. He’s the same after a win or a loss. Never too high. Never too low

Des Moines Register

Thirty minutes down in Ames, and Iowa State leads Texas Tech, 21-7, at halftime.

The Cyclones have been pretty well dominant in their first game back since defeating Oklahoma last week as they try to stay undefeated in Big 12 play.

Here are the big takeaways from the first half:

Iowa State is making a statement

Beating Oklahoma was a huge accomplishment for the Cyclones, but it would have been worth a lot less if they didn’t back it up with a win this weekend against Texas Tech.

The Cyclones aren’t there yet, but they’ve been head and shoulders better than the Red Raiders. It’s exactly what a Big 12 title contender should look like.

Special teams is still a problem

Iowa State trailed early after Connor Assalley’s short field goal was blocked and returned 90 yards for a touchdown after the Cyclones’ first drive.

That’s the third special teams touchdowns the Cyclones have allowed after giving up two return scores in the opener.

Special teams is failing the Cyclones. It might not cost them against Texas Tech, but it’s a phase of the game that absolutely has to improve. And quickly.

Purdy is at his best

Brock Purdy has been excellent, going 19 of 25 for 187 yards and a touchdown. He’s been smart, too, throwing the ball away on a number of occasions when he was under duress rather than trying to force a ball into a tight window. He’s also rushed four times for 25 yards.

The junior quarterback is on his way to his best game of the season.

Xavier Hutchinson is also emerging as a go-to receiver with six catches for 64 yards.

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