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Players to Watch: The Cheez-It Bowl

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Who Woke Up Feeling Cheeziest, Coach?

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

Iowa State

Offense The best tight end room in America over the last two years closes its final chapter today. Charlie Kolar, and Chase Allen have been pillars of reliability and consistency for this Iowa State offense for a very long time. Both are top 4 in receiving yards and receptions on the team. They were both All-Americans, and Kolar even won the nerdiest football player award.

These two tight ends have been ‘culture changers’ every year they’ve been at Iowa State. Today is their icing on the cake... that Charlie would probably eat with his hands.

Iowa State v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Defense The biggest piece of good news Iowa State has gotten in the... off-season? er... pre-off-season? The weird-interim-time-between-the-regular-season-and-bowl-games-season? Anyways, Will McDonald announcing he’s coming back for another year to be held on every play of the game was BIG TIME. He already broke the career record for sacks this year and could improve on that number today. McSack is an attention magnet, and it makes the rest of the defensive line operate with a little less pressure. Hopefully they can cause some havoc today.

Clemson

Offense D.J. Uiagalelei (Yes, I copied and pasted his last name, thanks for asking) was supposed to be the next great Clemson tiger behind center. Well, those results are TBD right now. DeShaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence definitely leave some big shoes to fill, and Uiagalelei isn’t quite there. The Clemson offense has struggled more this year than it has in a long time. The play calling has been under fire, but Uiagalelei underperforming this year is another reason Clemson didn’t have the season they tend to have.

Clemson v South Carolina Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Defense Sheesh, I don’t know, all of it? Clemson has more talent on this defense than the 1992 Dream Team. This team is like a souped-up Iowa Hawkeye team without the coaching nepotism. Their offense has struggled all season, but it doesn’t matter because the defense is made out of stone walls and pit bulls. They’re giving up 15 points per game, and Georgia, the best team all season, only scored 10 against Clemson.

The offense could be sputtering at times against this defense, and if Clemson wins the field position battle, we might have some Notre Dame flashbacks of us getting pushed around by a team that’s just faster, stronger, bigger, and better. I hope I’m wrong, but this is a not-so-great match up for the Cyclones.