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Kansas vs. Iowa State Team Analysis


Why Kansas? Edge Scenario Edge Why Iowa State?

Through four games Kansas has the #6 total offense along with the #6 scoring offense.  Jake Sharp is expected to return and provide another element to the running game to start conference play.  Throw in a bye week against a mediocre defense and the Kansas offense should perform well enough to win this matchup fairly easily when it's all said and done.  Plain and simple, too many athletes for the Cyclones to cover.







KU Offense vs. Iowa State Defense


It's hard to judge the Cyclone defense's true worth as they've struggled to stop anyone of consequence this season. There chances of winning lie in being able to play a bend but don't break style against the Jayhawks.  Still, with their loss to Kansas State and early struggles against Iowa it's hard to believe they'll effectively stop a real offense.  They'll have to find a way to offset an athletic deficit against Kansas which is tough but not impossible.

While Southern Mississippi didn't necessarily answer all the questions, it did show the Jayhawk defense can step up when called upon.  The Jayhawk front seven was especially effective in stopping the Golden Eagles running game and doing the same against the Cyclones will be why Kansas wins this matchup.  Basically, make them one dimensional and force Austen Arnaud to  beat you through the air.  Iowa State just hasn't executed well enough in the passing game so far to make me believe they can do so if forced to.

















KU Defense vs. Iowa State Offense















If Iowa State can establish a ground game early there offense can be a very balanced attack that will keep Kansas off guard.  Austen Arnaud and Alexander Robinson make the plays on the ground and that allows for Arnaud to be a much more effective in the air.  From there it's a matter of execution which seems to be lacking thus far in the season.  Control the Kansas front four, create running opportunities and mix it up, that's how the Cyclones win this.  Not much room for error at all here though.

After the Southern Miss. game the Kansas staff wanted a big time improvement on the kick coverage units.  I for one have been fairly happy with special teams this year and while it isn't a huge strength it isn't hurting us as it did last season.  Again I think overall this is an area where Kansas' athletism and better overall talent wins out.  I'm far from declaring the special teams a solid unit but it's servicable and should beat the Cyclones. 












Special Teams






Iowa State has a fairly solid kicker and kick coverage units.  They don't wow you in terms of their return game.  Pick up that piece against a Kansas team that has had it's lapses at times and the Cyclones could take the advantage in field position. 

The Kansas coaching staff all year has shown the ability to take what the other team gives them, control the clock and adjust defensively to make the stops when it matters.  Time to take it to the next level though as each week things get a little bit tougher from here on out.  Edge to Kansas though based purely on success over the past few seasons, especially at home.
















Paul Rhoads comes to Ames from Auburn following Gene Chiziks departure for the same school.  Rhoads has the challenges that always come with turnover and a lack of continuity but count me amongst those who like the hire at face value.  He's been a solid coordinator at both Pittsburgh and Auburn but now it's time to prove his worth as a head coach in Ames.  Sounds as if right now the coaching decisions have been good for the Cyclones this year, there just may have been a bit of a lag in development due to the turmoil.  Not this year Coach Rhoads but in the future this is going to be a good staff for Iowa State.


Time to kickoff conference play and much like non conference play Kansas get's a chance to ease into it.  Still it's not out of the question that the Cyclones could sneak up on the Jayhawks.  Need a reason, look to last year.  A few notable differences though.  Kansas has looked better through the non conference schedule, this game is in Lawrence and Iowa State is coming off a demoralizing loss to the Kansas State Wildcats.  Kansas Should take the edge in most every major category in this one, but as they say the game isn't played on paper.  One game at a time for the Jayhawks and that's all the further they need to look ahead.