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2014 Game X: Iowa State vs Texas Tech Preview

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The battle for all some of the tacos happens in Ames this weekend.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Game X: Iowa State (2-7, 0-6) vs Texas Tech (3-7, 1-6)

Time: 2:30 PM CST

Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA

Line: Iowa State -1.5

Television: FSN

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network

Game Notes/Release

Texas Tech SBN Site: Viva The Matadors

Cellar Bowl 2k14 presented by Taco John's takes place in Lawrence Ames this weekend, and both teams are looking for momentum to end the season.

When We Last Left Off...

No.

Sooner'd, or something.

The Series

Texas Tech leads the overall series 9-3 and is 3-2 all-time in Ames, but you know what they don't have?

He just moves so beautifully.  :'(

Iowa State Offense

Run the god damn ball.

When you get to the red zone run it some more.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Texas Tech Defense

This defense is not very good.  Having 87 defensive coordinators in the past decade will do that and the Tech defense is often looking a step slow as they try to remember their assignments and not focusing on what's going on in front of them.

Once again Iowa State will face a defense that's small in the middle with both tackles coming in around 268 pounds.  There's going to be opportunity to run the ball, and Texas Tech's stats back that up.

The Stats

Teams are averaging 5.3 yards per carry against Tech and an insane 25% of all plays are rushes between the tackles.  Seriously, turn Aaron Wimberly loose and let him get all the yards.

The Match Up

RUN.

THE.

GOD.

DAMN.

BALL.

Texas Tech Offense

The frightening thing about what I wrote above is that I can flip it around and put it right on Tech's shoulders as well.  Kliff Kingsbury has to be regretting the fact that former offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie is having the success he is at TCU, but them's the breaks when your swag doesn't work on men, Kliff.

Despite Cumbie's departure, the Tech offense really hasn't been the problem this year.  They're once again lighting the stat sheets on fire with the passing game, and the running game averages 5.3 yards per rush.  But, as Cyclone cans are accustomed to, a good offense can be completely overshadowed by a terrible defense that forces the hand of the offensive play caller, and that's what has happened to Tech.

Davis Webb has also been a problem when it comes to ball security.  His 13 interceptions are part of 16 the team has thrown as a whole, and is good enough for 4th nationally in most times intercepted.  Tech can put up all the yards they want, but if they can't hold on to the ball and score then they're worthless when it comes to helping an under performing defense win games.

Iowa State Defense

The Stats

Remember the whole "running the ball" thing I said Iowa State should do?  Tech should probably do the same.  Iowa State's defense is giving up 5.5 yards per carry with those numbers nearly approaching 6.0 on 1st and 2nd down.

The Match Up

Tech has given up ten sacks on the year, is looking to rotate two qurterbacks with two different skill sets, and has the personnel up front to run the ball.  In what is looking to be a chilly, rainy day in Ames they would do themselves a favor to alter their style and take advantage of a clear Iowa State weakness.

As far as the Iowa State defense is concerned, I don't even know anymore.  The absence of Jevohn Miller is noticeable, the line is thinner than Wally Burnham's hair, and the effort has not been there the past two games.  I'd love to see Iowa State commit to stopping the run early, but we know they won't do it and some ugly Under Armor uniforms are going to be running around unchecked in Jack Trice because of it.

Special Teams

Hell, I don't know anymore.  Cole Netten missed his first kick of the season against Kansas (not a big deal), Colin Downing is still solid, and the once strong return game is neutered by the fact that every kicker in the conference except Netten can put balls through the end zone.  Just don't turn the ball over please.

WRNL Beer Pick of the Week

Double the picks to help erase the memories of this season.

First, a bourbon pick that comes out of Lenexa, Kansas.  Dark Horse Distillery is new to the distilling game, but you wouldn't know it when tasting their Reserve Bourbon Whiskey.  Smooth, hand labeled, and somewhat sweet, this is the new go to when I'm searching for a stiff drink on a cold night.

Some are going to find the next pick blasphemous, but hear me out.  Leinenkugel's Cranberry Ginger Shandy has been around for a few months, but it's picking up steam as we head in to the Christmas season.  If you like cranberry juice, and have a taste for shandys, then give this a try.  Sweet without being overpowering this is the kind of beer you can drink easily and quickly, and you don't even have to be on your period!

Final Analysis

We'll make this real simple for everyone.

The team that runs the ball with the greatest success wins the game.  Not only does it serve to shorten the game for an awful defense, but it directly attacks a weakness that both defenses possess.

The problem is I don't trust Mark Mangino to do it, and I sure as hell don't trust an Iowa State defense to stop it.

Final Score

Taco Tech 41

Iowa State 30

PS - WRNL isn't setting up a tailgate in G7 this week.  Instead we're taking the show on the road and wandering aimlessly through the paved lots.  If you'd like one of us to stop by then tell us where you're at.

PPS - Programming note: Next week's preview for Riot Bowl III will run on Wednesday afternoon due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

PPPS - Hoiball.