By Ben Visser, Gazette Correspondent
Iowa State football has lost its last two games by seven points or fewer. In each game, the Cyclones had the ball in the final minutes with an opportunity to win or tie.
Iowa State lost Saturday?s game against Oklahoma State, 49-42, on a controversial interception call in the end zone.
The Cyclones have lost heart breakers before and they?ll probably lose heart breakers in the future. That?s the nature of college football.
But in the past, the Cyclones haven?t always responded well to losses. Coach Matt Campbell isn?t worried about that any more.
?If I know these guys, they haven?t disappointed me yet,? Campbell said. ?I really think that they understand there are a lot of things out there for these guys to play for.?
Campbell has lauded this senior class throughout the season. They?ve done everything from establishing a foundation and culture to making big plays in big moments.
The senior class continues to demand the best out of everybody and they?re teaching the young guys in the process.
?I?d have to give a lot of credit to this senior class and a lot of these guys are stepping into roles,? Campbell said. ?It?s fun, when you build a football program, not a team, when you build a football program, the seniors are supposed to teach the young guys in the program (how to be seniors) when their time comes.?
That wasn?t going on before Campbell arrived at Iowa State.
He got his seniors to establish that.
?That gives us a chance,? Campbell said. ?I think the rewards that this group is really teaching us are really invaluable.?
Just because Iowa State likely won?t play in the Big 12 Championship game and just because Iowa State has lost two straight doesn?t mean that the season?s over.
?You block out the noise and you come to work every day,? Campbell said. ?I said this when we had some success, the reality is, at the end of the season, we?ll be able to look at ourselves and say, ?Did this team reach its full potential or did it not?? And that?s our ultimate goal, that?s our job as coaches and that?s our young men?s job is to continue to fight and get better one day at a time.?