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Offensive Player to Watch vs. Texas: Landen Akers

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Not a lot to show on the year, but his game could prove to be pivotal this week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 31 Iowa State at Kansas Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well, here we are, it’s November 25th and Iowa State is in first place of the Big 12 with a chance to clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game for the first time in school history. Texas also is playing for a chance in that title game, but a red-shirt wideout would like a word. Landen Akers has not necessarily played a huge role in the ISU offense this year, reeling in 14 catches for 216 yards, but he could be a great 3rd or 4th guy to get touches this week.

The Longhorns have the 3rd worst pass defense in the Big 12, only ahead of Texas Tech and Kansas State (also worth noting they give up a league-worst 283 passing yards per game). Charlie Kolar will be the usual suspect to be Brock Purdy’s favorite target with Xavier Hutchinson being a close second, but a team can only prepare for so much. With the linebacker play being Texas’ strength, the run game for ISU could easily not be as successful as it was against the Garbage Cans Wildcats of Kansas State.

Baylor v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

Landen Akers is on the shorter end of the spectrum for ISU receivers at 6 foot even, but he is just a playmaker. Guy can flat out ball, even though he’s only got 14 catches on the year. He’s got great hands that could come in handy to be a reliable target for BP. Also, someone who started as a walk-on, how could you not love this guy’s story?

Akers has really come on late (aside from the K-State game) as not only a guy who could be a spark plug for the offense, but a great special teamer. He finds open spots in coverage as a receiver and has been killing it in the 3rd phase of the game, a blocked punt against Baylor being the most notable.

Landen Akers has not recorded a touchdown to this point in the season, but he does all the little things right to set the team up for success. As the last recruit of the Paul Rhoads era, Akers deserves a lot of credit for making it to where he is today and where he has put the Cyclones.

Iowa State takes on Texas this Friday at 11 am (ABC).