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Player to Watch: Mike Rose

The true freshman middle linebacker needs to have a huge game on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Iowa Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Cy-Hawk game was obviously a huge disappointment for Cyclone players, coaches, and fans. But if there is one thing to take away from that game, it’s the fact that the defense is stellar.

Jon Heacock’s unit allowed 13 points when they probably should’ve given up 31. They stepped up in all aspects of the game; they forced a ton three and outs and had several red zone stops after the Hawks were given incredible field position.

It wasn’t a surprise that the defense played well, nor was it a surprise that Ray Lima, Marcel Spears Jr., and Brian Peavy played well. However, it was a surprise that Mike Rose was the best player on the field in his first collegiate game. Rose led both teams in tackles with 11, and deflected a pass and a recorded a tackle for loss.

Stats don’t even tell the full story, Rose was in on every play and making an impact even if he didn’t record a stat.

For most of the game on Saturday, Rose was incredible at stepping in and making a tackle to prevent a big play. This is exactly what he needs to do against Oklahoma. In case you haven’t heard, Kyle Murray, the OU quarterback, is very good. Murray is averaging 6.8 yards per rush on 14 rushes in just two games this season, he is probably the best running quarterback Iowa State will face this year.

Rose, an Ohio native, will be tasked with stopping Murray’s running ability. It won’t be an easy task, but I expect Rose to be up to it. He might only be a freshman, but he looked like he had the instincts of a veteran.

Prediction: 9 Tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 Sack