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2022 Game Preview III: Ohio

Can Iowa State avoid the hangover?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Iowa State at Iowa

Iowa State (2-0, 0-0) at Ohio (1-1, 0-0)

Date: September 17th

Time: 1 P.M

Place: Jack Trice Stadium

Capacity: 61,500

Line: ISU (-18)


When we last left off...

Well, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. The 69th(nice) Cy-Hawk game was an absolute shit show. It was fueled by turnovers, sloppy play, and some rain. It had the makings of “burn the tape and move on”. Nonetheless, Iowa State was finally able to snap its skid in the series and come away with a 10-7 victory in Iowa City.

Iowa State was able to put up 313 yards on the Iowa defense but two costly red zone turnovers kept them from making a bigger splash in this game. Hunter Dekkers threw for 184 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Xavier Hutchinson was a man once again. The Cyclone star hauled in 11 receptions for 98 yards and the game-winning touchdown against Riley Moss.

One of the notable bright spots was the rushing attack. Before Iowa State basically tried killing the clock, Jirehl Brock was averaging 5.2 yards per carry against a stout Iowa front. He ended the day rushing for 100 yards and hauled in 5 receptions on the afternoon.

The Iowa State defense did its thing all afternoon once again. After giving up an early touchdown on a short field to start the game, Iowa didn’t seemingly pass the 50-yard line until the last drive of the game. Things that plagued the Cyclone defense a week ago, were cleaned up and as a unit, they were disruptive and finally forced some of those illusive Cy-Hawk series turnovers.

Ohio Tidbits

Tim Albin is entering his second season as the Ohio headman. He took over for Frank Solich, who stepped down for health reasons. Solich coached Ohio for 16 seasons and prior to that, he was at Nebraska. Albin has been part of the Ohio program since 2005 when he joined the staff as an offensive coordinator. This is his 18th season in Athens.

The Series

Iowa State leads the all-time series 7-0 over Ohio. The last time these two teams faced off was in 2003, Dan McCarney was still leading the Cyclones. Austin Flynn threw for two touchdowns and had 330 yards in total offense, while Michael Wagner rushed for 115yards and two scores as Iowa State beat Ohio 48-20.

Iowa State Offense

While the offense didn’t put up the fireworks that some may have wanted. The Iowa defense may be the best defense that Iowa State will face all season long. While the scoreboard and the box score weren’t the sexiest there were a few things that Iowa State could take away from this game and some things that they could work on.

First, the run game took a big step forward against Iowa. Typically you see Iowa State struggling to run the ball against the Iowa defensive front. The Cyclone offensive line showed some major improvement from the Southeast Missouri game. Iowa State held its own and was able to open up some big holes to allow Jirehl Brock to run freely. Before the rain came down hard and Iowa State virtually didn’t push the envelope, Brock was able to hit 5.2 yards per carry. Which says a lot about the blocking against a stout Hawkeye front.

First Key To The Game - Get A Rhythm

Iowa State needs to find itself back in rhythm after a sloppy and just survive type of game last Saturday. It will go a long way to get them ready for the Big 12 slate.

Ohio Defense

Ohio may have one of the worst defenses in the entire country. The Bobcats are the 128th overall defense. They are the 199th passing efficiency defense, tied for 127th in passing touchdowns allowed and 130th in passing yards allowed. As for the run game, Ohio is a bit better in that department. They are the 98th ranked rushing defense in the NCAA. They give up over 5 yards per rush and 167 yards per game on the ground.

Saturday in their trip to Penn State the Bobcats were gashed all over the field. They allowed 338 yards passing and 234 yards on the ground. In their first game against Florida Atlantic, things were not much different as the Owls threw for over 350 yards. Ohio ultimately won the game but the defense came away licking their wounds.

Ohio v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Ben Johnson is the man on the Ohio defense. He is the Bobcats leading tackler and plays all over the field from the safety position. This is a team that doesn’t really take the ball away just yet so no one really has stood out defensively as much as Johnson has. With that said I don’t think he is a scheme-around type player for Ohio.

The Verdict - Iowa State

Iowa State should be able to have their way offensively in this one. The Bobcats just don’t have the horses to compete with the Iowa State offense. Barring any sort of major hangover from Iowa City, Hunter Dekkers should have a decent day through the air. I expect to see the run game develop a bit more and build off their outing against Iowa.

Iowa State Defense

Last weekend the Cyclone defense held Iowa to 150 total yards and forced three turnovers. The lone score against the Cyclones was early on in the game when Iowa had a short field after a blocked punt. Granted, you may not be able to take much away from this game defensively for Iowa State because the struggles from Iowa are far greater than anyone can imagine.

What you can take away is a ton of guys are stepping up into their roles that had a lot of question marks going into this game. T.J. Tampa, Colby Reeder, and Myles Purchase all had solid afternoons and looked comfortable with what this staff is asking them to do. Now the pressure starts to build as Ohio has a bit more offensive firepower and Baylor waiting in a week.

Iowa State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Second Key To Victory - Avoid Mistakes

The Cyclone defense may be without a few key players as some guys were dinged up, we should know more as the game draws closer. With that said, we are probably going to see a few moving parts and that can lead to mistakes that can keep a team like Ohio in a ballgame. Iowa State has to play with good fundamentals and keep Ohio from building any sort of momentum in this game.

Ohio Offense

The Bobcat offense is sitting middle of the road nationally. They certainly have moved the ball and scored more points than Iowa, which should give Iowa State a decent warm-up test (or at least better than Iowa) before Baylor next week.

On the season they are averaging 25.5 points per game, with a bulk of those points being scored against Florida Atlantic. They are averaging 5.2 yards per play, 3.7 yards per rush, and 6.9 yards per pass. All of those stats are middle-tier nationally as already mentioned.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Ohio at Penn State Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bobcats are lead by a Canadian gunslingger, Kurtis Rourke. The Ohio quarterback has thrown for 464 yards and four touchdowns on the season. Last week against Penn State Rourke was held in check passing for 119 yards and no scores on the afternoon. He does possess the ability to get out of the pocket and use his legs to get out of trouble. Something the Cyclone defenders had an issue with against Southeast Missouri State.

The Bobcats will also look to utilize freshman running back Sieh Bangura. He put up the only touchdown against Penn State last weekend but he was able to rush for over 100 yards against Florida Atlantic two weeks ago. Someone Iowa State will need to bottle up to avoid any issues there.

The Verdict - Iowa State

While I think this Ohio offense will move the ball better than Iowa did a week ago. The Cyclones still are far more talented compared to the Ohio offense. Iowa State will really need to get home with their pass rush and not allow Kurtis Rourke to get comfortable and in rhythm. Ohio will have to make this game a shootout to keep with the deficiencies their defense has and I am not sure they will be able to do that.

Special Teams

The Cyclone special teams have some things that they need to clean up. Specifically, punt protection. The Cyclones allowed Iowa to block two punts on Saturday and luckily it wasn’t final blows to their chances of winning. They may need to go back to the traditional method of using three linemen for wall protection just before the punter. O’Rien Vance found himself on some punts and was giving up some pressure on the kicks. It was also nice to see Jace Gilbert get his first field goal of the season out of the way and now he can just build from there.

The Verdict - Iowa State

Iowa State should be fine on special teams in this one. I don’t foresee it being a major factor in this game. No this is not a jinx either.

Winning Scale from 1 to 10

I am going to have the convenience store wars started in this section alone before the season is over. Casey’s pizza is average and so is this Ohio team. I give the Iowa State Cyclones a Kwik Star’s chance in winning this one. ELITE!

Final Analysis

Iowa State really needs to use this week as a final prep for Big 12 play as next week it gets real in a hurry. As I have mentioned before, Ohio will probably make some plays on Saturday and make things just a bit uncomfortable at times. Though at the end of the day, the Ohio defense is going to be completely outmatched and Hunter Dekkers and company should put up a fair amount of points. Give me Iowa State pulling away in this tomorrow.

Final Score

Iowa State- 38

Ohio- 17

Let us know your predictions!