Iowa State (1-0, 0-0) at TOE (1-0, 0-0)
Date: September 10th
Time: 1 P.M
Place: Kinnick Stadium
Line: TOE (-3.5)
TV: Big Ten Network
When we last left off...
Iowa State took care of business last Saturday, beating South Eastern Missouri State by a final score of 42-10. Hunter Dekkers shined in his starting debut throwing for four touchdowns. He did have one interception on a bad read but that was easily forgotten with his stellar play the rest of the afternoon.
Xavier Hutchinson showed why he might be the best wide receiver in the Big 12. The Cyclone star hauled in 8 receptions and three touchdowns on the afternoon. The Cyclone rushing attack got a bit of a slow start but found its way in the second half. Jirehl Brock carried the rock 16 times for 104 yards and one touchdown on the afternoon.
The Iowa State defense rolled out a ton of new guys on Saturday afternoon trying to play with rotations and at times they looked like a young unit. Part of it may be SEMO’s offense was totally different than it had been in years past and the preparation was a bit off for it. Nonetheless, they did what they were supposed to do and kept SEMO from gaining any major momentum.
All in all, it was a solid all-around game and a much better one for fans than previous FCS experiences that haunt us.
TOE and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits had the offensive slugfest of a lifetime last weekend in Iowa City. TOE would win the special teams battle and pin SDSU deep near the goalline and force two Jackrabbit safeties to pull their point total all the way up to 7. The Hoks from they would hang on to a 7-3 victory.
TOE would amass a total of 166 yards of offense in the victory. Putting “a win is a win” to solid use right away in the first week of the season. It has been 41 years since a team scored 7 points without scoring a touchdown. Impressive.
Props to you TOE.
TOE holds the all-time series 46-22 and has won the last 6 in the Cy-Hawk Series. The last Iowa State win came in 2014 inside Kinnick Stadium. Pain.
Iowa State Offense
The Cyclone offense did pretty much what you could possibly want in the first game of the season. They didn’t hold anything back and they opened up the passing attack a bit with a few downfield shots to show off a little bit of what to expect with Hunter Dekkers behind the wheel.
Iowa State was able to put up 469 yards of total offense against Southeast Missouri State last Saturday. The Cyclones averaged over 11 yards per pass completion and 4.8 yards per rushing attempt. While the stats seem good on paper, things are going to ramp up in terms of opposing defense tomorrow. TOE is going to bring one of, if not the best defensive line that Iowa State will face all season. For an offensive line that took a bit to get going in the run-blocking game last Saturday, it’s going to have to come around much quicker tomorrow.
First Key To Victory - Win Up Front
As I said earlier, TOE will bring a very good defensive front and that is not even mentioning the linebackers. Iowa State is going to have to get the right side of their offensive line to block to the same level as the left side did last Saturday. The Cyclones gained most of their yards running to the left and TOE will be a team that will be able to counteract that. The line will have to work as one unit and play their best.
The TOE defense was up to its usual self against South Dakota State last Saturday. The Jackrabbits were hardly able to get the ball across the 50-yard line. The Hoks held SDSU to 120 total yards and 2.1 yards per play. This is not a recipe that Iowa State can follow if they want to have any sort of success tomorrow.
TheTOE defense is once again led by Jack Campbell and Riley Moss. Campbell led the Hoks in tackles on Saturday with 11 total tackles and Riley Moss came away with 3 of his own. In the game a season ago, Campbell and Moss combined for 16 total tackles and were key in holding the Iowa State offense at bay. There is no real way Iowa State can scheme away from them but they will have to take a different approach offensively than they have in years past.
The TOE defense feast on turnovers. While this Hok team may not be able to turnover teams at a clip they did a season ago. It is something that always lurks when you play in Iowa City. Iowa State will have the keep the ball safe when they take the field on Saturday.
The Verdict - Iowa
While I do believe Iowa State can be better offensively this season with Dekkers running the show. In 2 out of the last 3 games TOE has held Iowa State in check and kept them from making any real noise offensively. With how good the TOE defense looked against South Dakota State, I would expect Dekkers, making his first career road start to find their own struggles tomorrow. I do think The Cyclones will be able to move the ball through the air but at the same time struggle to run the ball. That paired together usually doesn’t mesh well for winning the battle.
Iowa State Defense
The Cyclone defense was much of the same on Saturday, just a bunch of new faces. The Cyclones messed with a ton of different lineups and were able to get a ton of game reps for guys vying for playing time. We didn’t see a whole lot from the stars of the defense Anthony Johnson and Will McDonald, but they weren’t really needed as Matt Campbell was seeing what he had from the other guys. Their experience will be needed on the road this week.
The Cyclone defense gave up 320 yards of offense and one touchdown late in the second quarter. The defense in the second half per usual from a Jon Heacock led group was lights out. Southeast Missouri State virtually never moved the ball past the 50-yard line.
While the TOE offensive line is kind of in makeshift mode, I still expect it to give the Iowa State front three a test. Will McDonald will need to be a factor to keep Spencer Petras from finding any rhythm and keep his happy feet going. I also will need to see the Cyclone linebackers play better. Last weekend against SEMO, they took bad angles and missed some plays that we don’t normally see. The TOE run game should give them the opportunity to correct those errors.
You listen to any one of the media that does any podcasting for TOE and they have all said this is the worst TOE’s offense has ever looked. Again, South Dakota State and the first game probably play a factor in it as well. I think it is safe to say you probably won’t see it that bad again.
The Hawkeye offensive line is still trying to figure out life after Tyler Linderbaum. Injuries across the front as well didn’t help things either. Leshon Williams was held to 72 yards rushing on 24 carries, and a 3.0 average. The jackrabbits put emphasis on selling out to stop the run and making Spencer Petras do some damage. SPOILER WARNINGS AHEAD!
Spencer Petras did not inflict any damage whatsoever. The only damage he may have done was to innocent bystanders being hit by his passes flying out of bounds. The 5th year senior did not have a great day at the office. Petras was 11/25 for 109 yards and one interception. He even put up a huge quarterback rating of 1.1.
Second Key To The Game - Put The Game On Petras’ Shoulders
This is the same key to the game as last year. You have to make Spencer Petras beat you. The Cyclones did that a season ago to the book. Petras was 11/21 for 106 yards and one touchdown. It was the other costly mistakes that doomed Iowa State on that day.
TOE will more than likely be without Keagan Johnson once again. While Arland Bruce is a gifted player, him going at it without an opposite weapon narrows down things for Iowa State. Sell out to eliminate the run and Petras may have a long day again.
The Verdict - Iowa State
Iowa State, while young in spots on defense should be able to hold up against this TOE offense. I don’t think the Hoks will be able to fix all the issues they have in one week. I do expect them to put forth a better effort than they did against South Dakota State but I am not sure it is going to be a drastic difference. Iowa State wins this area of the game.
Here we are again, another Cy-Hawk game and somehow special teams are going to be another key to this one. TOE utilized special teams to the max on Saturday against South Dakota State. The Hoks pinned the Jackrabbits deep on multiple occasions which ultimately led to two safeties that cost South Dakota State the game in the end. As we know, special teams have cost Iowa State dearly in the last two matchups with TOE.
Third Key To Victory - Win The Special Teams Game
You can go back to 2018 if you want, Iowa State went out east and played on the wrong side of field position all game and lost 13-3. 2019, was the muffed punt and the Cyclones never got a chance to win it at the end. Then last year, TOE pinned back the Cyclones frequently and allowed their defense to pin its ears back.
Iowa State has to avoid getting destroyed on special teams tomorrow if they want to have a chance in this one. The Cyclones didn’t show a whole lot against South Dakota State(not a ton of chances) to give me any hope for that. I am just going to sit back and pray at this rate.
The Verdict - TOE
Until Iowa State can win this area of the game against the Hoks, there is no chance in hell I will give them the verdict. I hope I am wrong and things start to turn our way.
Winning Scale from 1 to 10
Look, you can go into Casey’s and get some food out of the warmer. You either get something decent or you get something that has been in the warmer for 3 hours and the kitchen staff never cared to check(which would never happen at Kwik Star). Just like lunch at Casey’s this game is just one big toss-up.
I think Iowa State has the horses in this one to attack the TOE defense through the air. Whether Campbell does that or goes with the same old game plan remains to be seen. Let’s hope that it is the first option. I think this may be a race to 21 if anyone can get there. I don’t think we will see anything major change from the TOE offense but it will be a unit that doesn’t look as bad as they did against SDSU.
I also don’t trust the weird things to bounce Iowa State’s way. Something on special teams or a fluke turnover doesn’t necessarily side with Iowa State in this series. Until the bounces go the Cyclones’ way, I don’t feel great about the outcome.
Iowa State - 14
Team Out East - 17
Let us know your predictions in the comments below!