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Iowa State Preview

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This seems like it will not go well, part 2.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. I’ll try to make this short and sweet.

PREGAME

Kansas leads the overall series with Iowa State 50-43-6, but the Cyclones have won the last five in a row and 9 of the last 10 matchups.

KU has not defeated a team in the AP top-25 since Georgia Tech came to Lawrence in 2010.

KU’s last victory over a ranked conference foe came against Missouri in 2008.

FIRST DOWN

The offense has to take some of the pressure off of the defense, which has played well to at the beginning of games over the past few weeks. KU has GOT to find a way to move the ball, and avoid the 3-and-outs that have plagued the offense all year.

SECOND DOWN

Related, the offensive line has got to figure out a way to buy whoever is at quarterback (likely Jalon Daniels again) some time. Opposing defenses have averaged 10 TFLs per game against Kansas so far in 2020. That’s, uh, not good.

THIRD DOWN

Let’s not have a repeat of the special teams performance last week in Manhattan, please? Mkay.

FOURTH DOWN

S&P+ projects a 25-point Iowa State victory, giving the Jayhawks just a 7% chance of pulling the upset. ISU checks in at #24 in the latest S&P+ rankings, while KU somehow moved up a spot to #119 (out of 127 teams).

ESPN’s FPI Matchup Predictor puts Iowa State at a 93.8% chance of victory.

Sagarin gives Iowa State a 92% chance of victory.

The Vegas spread is (as of 10 PM Thursday) ISU -28, with an over/under of 52.5. That’s a huge number for a conference road favorite, in case you were wondering.

PREDICTION

There is absolutely no reason for this game to be close on Saturday. However, Iowa State is a team that seems to play to the level of its opponent. That said, I can’t imagine them overlooking the apparently hapless Jayhawks, as ISU still has designs on playing in a Big 12 title game.

I look for the Jayhawk offense to struggle for most of the day again, as they simply have not given us any indication over five games that they have the ability to consistently move the ball on a D1 defense, let alone a P5 defense. Obviously, that means it’s likely to have a cascade effect on the defense, which may once again open up strong, but they won’t be able to contain Iowa State’s offense forever.

I look for a rather boring game, but one that Iowa State wins comfortably. Maybe KU can backdoor cover at the end against the backups. Iowa State 41, Kansas 14.

EXTRA POINT

Iowa State has the country’s leading rusher in RB Breece Hall, at 143.2 yards per game. He has hit the 100-yard mark in every game so far this season.