Last week, I pegged Trever Ryen as the Player to Watch. While Ryen didn’t necessarily have a particularly notable game, he did have a sweet punt return after fielding the ball inside the five yard line following a couple weird hops.
The junior cornerback from Houston has been key component of the Cyclone secondary for the past couple seasons, and has stepped into a leadership role for the group in 2017. He’s been Iowa State’s best cover corner this year, consistently taking on the opponent’s best receiver. Last week against TCU, Peavy snagged an errant Kenny Hill throw before returning it 69 yards.
This week, Peavy will be instrumental in stopping the best QB/WR tandem in the country in Will Grier and David Sills. Grier is a gunslinger, and will take chances downfield to pick up huge chunks of yardage. If Peavy can keep close to the touchdown machine Sills, the deep safety can provide help, possibly creating a turnover or two. Those turnovers will be key to slowing down the Mountaineers and giving the Cyclone offense more opportunities to run the ball and grind out the clock.
Peavy will also asked to help support in the running game as well, as West Virginia’s Justin Crawford is adept at bouncing runs outside to gain an edge. The entire secondary has done an excellent job of making solid open field tackles, with Peavy and D’Andre Payne leading the way.
Though just a junior, Brian Peavy’s leadership and maturity will be important in snagging another important road win for the Cyclones.