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Cyclones Prepare for Annual “Hate Week” Matchup with Idaho

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The Vandals come to town for the annual rivalry game.

NCAA Football: Idaho Potato Bowl-Idaho vs Colorado State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again folks. The annual “Hate Week” matchup with the U of I(daho) Vandals is upon us. Time to spread our hate for the Great Potato State. Even Matt Campbell has been getting in on the rivalry, referring to the U of I as the “Team Out West” in multiple interviews throughout the offseason.

Idaho fans are up to their typical shenanigans, constantly referring to Iowa State as “small potatoes,” and claiming that this game is basically the Cyclones’ “Tuber Bowl.” In response, the mother of Cyclone running back Mike Warren recently tweeted, “Time to prove the taters wrong! #CyclONENation #BeatIdaho #TatersGonnaTate.” It’s clear to see that these two rival fanbases share a mutual detest that is unlikely to be hashed out anytime soon.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the 2017 edition of the CyVandal series.

Last Week:

Idaho

Last week, Idaho cruised to 28-6 victory over Sacramento behind the 193 all-purpose-yard performance from running back Aaron Duckworth and two touchdown passes from NFL-prospect Matt Linehan. After tallying only 24 yards through the first quarter, the Vandals showed their spuds by racking up over 325 yards over the remainder of the game.

Iowa State

The Cyclones overcame a slow start and eventually cruised to a 42-24 victory over Northern Iowa. David Montgomery set the pace for the Cyclone offense, utilizing solid zone blocking to mash the Panther defensive front. After a slow start and a second quarter interception, quarterback Jacob Park heated up, eventually roasting the defense for 271 yards and two touchdowns on a 77% completion rate. The Cyclone defense also showed their starch, with the first-teamers holding UNI to just 17 points, while returning two interceptions for touchdowns in the first quarter.

The Mashup

Both the Cyclones and Vandals boast potent offensive attacks rooted in a strong passing game and inexperienced defenses, so expect this to high scoring affair. The Vandal offense is highlighted by quarterback Matt Linehan, whom Todd McShay rated as his 10th best quarterback prospect for next year’s NFL draft. Expect the Iowa State defensive line to apply plenty of pressure to bake Linehan into a corner, forcing him to make throws into tot coverage from the secondary.

However, the Cyclones have their own talented offense, featuring Park, Montgomery, and a talented group of receivers looking to chip away at a young Vandal defense. Expect Hakeem Butler to wedge his way into the middle of the Idaho zones, while Allen Lazard and Trever Ryen peel off the top by taking advantage of the less athletic Vandal cornerbacks. Though Cyclone offensive line is still coming into its own, Jake Campos & Co. should have no problem pancake-ing Idaho’s undersized defensive line.

Prediction:

49-14 Iowa State

Stay tuned to WRNL for more analysis and coverage leading up to this weekend’s showdown against the Vandals.