Isheem Young’s targeting ejection on the third play of the game dealt an enormous, potentially lethal blow to the Iowa State defense in the Big 12 Championship Game. Thankfully (yes thankfully) his ejection happened in the first half and he will be a full participant in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday and I’m sure he’ll be looking to make a big play against the Ducks.
Young has been been one of Iowa State’s better defenders on the season, forcing opposing coordinators to scheme away from him. On the season, Young has forty-six total tackles, three forced fumbles and one interception. His versatility allows him to play all over the field and help this Cyclone defense be a stone wall in every game.
He will be needed on Saturday. Oregon is a team loaded with talent and while they may have only played 6 games to date. They are still Oregon and pose a big threat to anyone on defense. It’s a team loaded with speed and anything out of position will get you beat big time. That’s where a guy like Isheem Young comes in.
Iowa State’s secondary tends to be the weak spot of the defense, allowing most of their chunk plays over the top. Oregon surely knows that. The Ducks generally do not like pushing the ball down the field at all, instead choosing to rely on their running game to move the ball downfield. They can also be turnover-prone, which plays directly into Isheem’s hands. He should have the opportunity to make a few game-changing plays in favor of the Cyclones.