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Behind Enemy Lines: Iowa State Cyclones

We get some early morning intel on today's opponent.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas Jayhawks face the Iowa St. Cyclones in Ames on Senior Day. Many KU fans may have already tuned out the rest of Big 12 football. To help prepare you for what you need to know, I reached out to Jared Larson of Wide Right Natty Lite to get some info.

RCT: Iowa State started the season off really slow, in what seems to be a consistent pattern for a Matt Campbell team. Why does it seem to take 4 or 5 games for this team to really hit its stride?

WRNL: I wish I knew the answer to this. To be honest, the 2018 season started with a game cancellation followed by the defensive slap with Iowa and then Kyler Murray at home. That season we never got the footing in early, and guys (Kempt and David Montgomery) were dinged up which made it hard to do much offensively. This season? As long as we win in the margins, it should reflect on the scoreboard. It’s sort of annoying. Each game has taught us a separate lesson, (insert hindsight is 20/20 and next year is 2020 joke) so it should take 3 games to hit the stride next season, lol.

RCT: The defense hasn’t been as good this year as in previous years, but seems to be improving lately. Who are the biggest playmakers that Kansas fans need to be aware of going into this game?

WRNL: I’d specifically advise viewing at three levels, defensive line, linebackers and secondary.

On the defensive line, Ray “Machine Breaker” Lima (58) is a familiar name, but keep an eye out for sophomore Zach Petersen (55) who is filling JaQuan Bailey’s role very nicely.

Mike Rose (23) is a stud of a linebacker that is continuing his rise as another historically great linebacker at Iowa State. He should grow a flow, but apart from that one knock he really flies to the ball well.

Braxton Lewis (33) is another ball flier, but in fact I’m excited to see the growth of Tayvonn Kyle (10), His development is coming along really well.

RCT: Everyone knows Brock Purdy, and Breece Hall has done enough that anyone paying attention to college football at least knows who he is. Which other offensive players are we going to hear about Saturday?


As much as this article could be seen as an attempt to disparage rival school, Charlie Kolar, Chase Allen and heck even 6’7” 271lb Dylan Soehner’s gargantuanness (?) will make things interesting.

RCT: What is going to be the most important matchup in this game?

WRNL: Pooka Williams and the Iowa State D. Hubbard went over us big time in our homecoming matchup, so if we are unable to wrap up this could be a challenge.

RCT: Which Kansas player(s) is/are you most worried about?

WRNL: Lots of talent in both the wide receiver room and on the defensive side of the ball. You guys tackle really quite well in space but about specific players that worry me uh…

Pooka, of course but also Hakeem Adeniji once he graduates, fans can and should point at his durability to what changes the culture of Jayhawk football.

Stephon Robinson Jr. is not so quietly having a very good season as is Parchment.

Defensively, Mike Lee is a talent when it comes to forcing turnovers. I think he’s Top 10 nationally?

RCT: Prediction Time! How does the game go? Any chance Kansas actually pulls off the upset? What’s the final score?

WRNL: So, with the emotions of senior day riding high it might be slow early but it’ll be all Cyclones in the second half. Kolar will continue to show why Iowa State is TIGHT END U.

I’d say Kansas has a Gale Sayers chance of losing to Iowa State, which, okay my percentage doesn’t work out because he was 2-1. So I’d say as likely as Mizzou making a bowl this season?

35-10, Iowa State.

Closing thought, I was really pulling for you guys @ Texas at a local brewery.